Of the transcendent joys of fatherhood, this is not among them.
Our son by five seemed addicted to the really bad pizza and games at Discovery Zone and we indulged the evil until one terrifying, memory-searing moment.
A new DZ had opened on the southeast apron of center city Philadelphia. Not having been fleeced by one in well over a week, we caved and agreed again to go.
What I witnessed frightened me to my marrow and I have been plagued by and will no doubt be struck by stark, often soaking night-sweats for the balance of my life.
When we arrived Tamar and my son went off to get slices and Dr. Soda, my son's term for any beverage-not-chocolate milk.
I waited on a metal bench next to the Pit. The Pit was empty save for a three- or four-year-old boy and his early thirties dad, that dad clad in a teal Izod shirt and initially crisp plaid shorts.
I glimpsed the delight on the father's face as he squatted then sank with his deliriously happy son into the rolling plastic ball sea. I saw his eyes squint then slowly moisten and widen to angish as he began to rise, slipped, fell, only to resurrect, appeared to squish and drip, and then seemed try to reach out to his wife -- too far, too far, too late -- she, seated pleasantly waiting and unknowing safely on dry land on the bench across from mine.
Before she could speak he produced a long, forlorn, wet and poignant wail
there's three inches of slobber 'n kid-whizz on the bottom of this thing...."
He could so easily have been me.