I Don’t Know How by Winj

Word Count 375


It’s not that I don’t care. It’s not even that I’m scared, though, I gotta admit, I am. Scared out of my mind. It’s that I don’t know how. Never really had any experience with it. Sure, there’ve been times when I played at it for a few hours or even a few days but, it was never real. It was never permanent. But this is … for always and I just don’t know how. I can face any man down without fear. I can work a fence line all day long. I can push cattle hundreds of miles. But, I don’t think I can do this.

See, it hasn’t been that long that I’ve been able to watch and learn and well, it just ain’t the same now. Starting brand new right smack dab at the beginning … I’m scared. That’s the plain truth of it. Thing is, no one knows. It’s not like I can come out and tell anyone. They’re all looking at me now with stupid grins on their faces. They think it’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened since the beginning of time! But, it’s not.

Here comes Murdoch, still grinning. He holds his arms out to me and all I can think of is to run. Run, you damned fool! But, deep down, I know I can’t do that. So, I hold my arms out and he gently lays the bundle within, close to my chest and my instinct is to pull it even closer so, I do. Then, because I just can’t stop myself, I look down and … I’m done. A smile stretches my face and my heart does some strange jumping thing and my eyes are gettin kind of wet. Then I hear the word for the very first time.

“Congratulations, papa.”

I look up into my father’s eyes and that wetness spills down my cheeks but, I don’t care. I swallow hard at the painful lump in my throat and all the sudden, I know I can do this. I know I can be a father and a good one, too. I know because, no matter when we started, I’ve got the best father in the world right here in front of me.

June 2009

Comments:  We don’t have this author’s current email address. If you leave a comment below, if she reconnects with the fandom, then she will see how much her work is appreciated.

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