Fisher will body-check you. At Saturday soccer, for which he is newly enthusiastic (no more imaginary tummy aches sidelining him), a boy trips him during a three-on-three scrimmage. He face-plants in the mud. Standing up, he holds it together for about three seconds before bolting across the field in tears to Daddy. Daddy and Auntie Jen buck him back up.
D: Fisher, I know, but let’s get back out there one last time before soccer is over, okay? Can you do that for me?
F (still crying a little): But, that boy did that a-purpose.
D: Oh, I don’t think so, Fisher. I think he was just running for the ball like you were. And your legs tangled. That happens in soccer. Can you just go back out there for the last minute or two?
F: But, he did that a-purpose, Daddy.
D: Fisher, he was just trying to get the ball. Everybody wants to get the ball, and…
F: But, he did that a-purpose.
D: Fisher, no, I don’t…
F: Yes, he did.
Daddy has to walk him back over to his coach, and together the two coax a few kicks of a ball and a smile out of him. Fisher back in the saddle, Daddy returns to the far sideline, and during the subsequent “scrimmage,” Daddy spies Fisher walk right by and deliver a body-check solid enough to get the tripper’s attention and subtle enough to avoid the coaches’ notice, playing it pretty well…um, if they weren’t both four or five. The kid is fine, of course, just a little warier of Fisher. Auntie Jen assures Daddy that sometimes an intentional foul is just the thing. Daddy files the incident away for future “discussion.”
On Monday morning, the kids visit yet another pumpkin patch, this time with their kindergarten classes. Daddy is constantly on edge as a gaggle of toddlers reach in a large box to grab and hold little baby chicks. “Not too tight, Bailey.” “Be gentle, now.” “Don’t turn them upside down.” “Keep them over the box.” After the rest of the crew moves on, Fisher stays with it. He spends the next ten minutes trying to help a two-year-old unaffiliated with the class capture and hold a chick gently enough. The child’s French-speaking mom smiles to Daddy at Fisher’s efforts and attention: “So gentle.”
Yah, sure, in the right context, definitely, so, um, gentle.