...so here's the story about my Dad I promised.
I was talking on the phone to Dad Wednesday night and he said "did you hear about me finding the baby?"
I was incredulous, sorta waiting for the punchline, but it turns out, he really did find a baby. Here's what happened:
Sunday night, Dad went to bed but couldn't sleep, so he got up and did the bills and paperwork for a while, getting everything in order and stamped and addressed and ready to mail in the morning. At that point, he was still wired and didn't feel like sleeping, restless.
So sometime after midnight, he gathered up the outgoing mail and drove to town to the post office. He was about to pull out of the Fina station in his pickup truck when he saw the flash of something white low to the ground heading for the front of his truck and the roadway beyond. He thought this might be a little dog or a piece of paper blowing about. He craned his neck down and took a closer look, and the white was a diaper on a little black baby boy, maybe about 2 years old.
Dad put the car in park and opened up the door and said "hey buddy, where're you going?" and the little kid came right to him jabbering baby talk, arms outstretched, happy to see him. Apparently he had gone out for an adventure on his own for the night. Dad asked him where he lived and he pointed off to a neighborhood nearby.
Dad said "let's go find your mama" and he said "ok." Dad picked him up and put him on the seat of the truck and called the police. He said the kid had a little stuffed bear in one hand and a blue bottle of Elmer's glue in the other, sucking on it like it was a baby bottle. He was clean as a whistle and well-fed, just wearing the diaper and a smile (like I like my men!) and delighted to hang out with my dad.
Apparently a bunch of police arrived at the gas station and a female officer took over doting on the baby, and Dad answered a battery of questions, hopeful to help the little guy find his way home.
Dad called the police station the next day to see if the little man made it home alright, and the lady at the station looked up the file. She said it was one of the strangest police reports she'd ever seen, and that it was miraculous that he'd found that baby, because he could have been picked up by ne'er-do-wells or attacked by dogs (oh yeah, we do have coyotes around that part of Dallas County, too). I suppose they wrote in the report what Dad was doing out that time of night, and she told him "well, you were meant to be awake and go out and find him. you probably saved his life."
Dad said that saving that little fellow from possible harm was the highlight of his week. One neat thing about Dad is that he'd never do something like that with the hope of recognition or praise or glory.
That little boy will grow up and maybe be a linebacker or a dentist or an engineer, and he'll probably never remember or even hear about the time some complete stranger took the time to make sure he was out of harm's way in the middle of the night. But Dad will know and will treasure that thought always, and that's all the satisfaction he requires.
That's my Pop!