The Winter Father

Her mittened hand felt small and cold in his.  Even though the wool hat hid her face he knew she was crying.

“Two more times around, honey,” he said, voice almost obscenely cheerful. “Then we can go get some cocoa.”

Twice more they made their laborious way around, her ankles splaying birdlike despite the heavy leather of the skates.  Other skaters whirred past as they struggled. He knew it was tough, perhaps even cruel, but he could not become one of those weekend Santa-daddies who taught their children nothing.

Over the promised cocoa she stared at the park with hatred.


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  1. rochellewisoff

    Dear Josh,

    This girl is not destined to become an Olympic skater, is she? At least he kept his promise about the cocoa. Perhaps he should take her to a movie next time or read a book with her. ;) Good one.



  2. msjadeli

    Excellent story that illustrates some of the many heartbreaks parents of divorce face when trying to parent their children part time. No matter what a person does, they never know what lesson a child will take in from it. You never know, she could realize how much fun it was later and become the next Tanya Harding ;)

  3. Tannille

    Ah the parental push “just one more time” or in this case two more. On the service it seems a but mean but I know as an adult I push myself “just one more”. Self discipline is a gift.

  4. Anonymous

    Perhaps next time she’l get better. Sometimes creating adventure for children is hard work, but fulfilling when it works. Very true to life experience.

  5. Dale

    The weekend parent – never an easy job, is it? Methinks there is pushing and tehre is pushing too hard; choosing to do something the kid loathes is not the way to go.
    Excellent take!

  6. Lynn Love

    It is a tough job, being the non custodial parent. You’re the one missed, the one who doesn’t have to deal with the day to day crap that comes with raising kids. And the one who misses out on that crap too, the crap that builds a relationship with your children. Beautifully observed and a fantastic title – yes, I know you borrowed it but you still had the good taste to borrow something perfect for your piece.

Don't just stand there.