If anyone saw me at Columbine Park last week, I was not merely weird, I was reading and participating in the Story Walk in the Park stations sponsored by Friends of the Sterling Public Library.
Reading a story as I walked was SO delightful.
As directed, at one station I twirled around and bowed, at another I stretched my neck and looked at the moon and stars, at another I listened to the swaying grass and branches in trees, and I leaped and crept.
I had fun.
By the time I circled the park, I had read the book “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees.
It is a story about a giraffe named Gerald, who didn’t think he could dance. All the other animals, at the annual African Jungle Dance, could rock & roll, tango, cha cha, waltz, and do the Scottish reel. They made fun of Gerald, and he left the dance floor.
He never felt so sad before.
Gerald received wise counsel from a cricket that said, “Sometimes when you’re different you just need a different song.”
Gerald learned everything makes music, and we can all dance when we find music we love. He started dancing, and the other animals said, “Gerald is the best dancer we have ever, ever seen.”
Children’s storybooks teach great lessons. This one was no exception.
Gerald’s story made me think of Father’s Day and all the men who help grow kids, especially dads.
For numerous reasons, some men might believe they aren’t or can’t be good fathers. Other people might laugh, ridicule, or tell them they can’t, but they can. With enthusiasm, encouragement, and confidence, each man can be the best father anyone has ever seen.
I believe it to be true.
Gerald wasn’t a natural born dancer, just as men and women are not natural born parents. Gerald had no dance training, but he wanted to dance. He listened, learned, and gave himself permission to relax inhibitions, stop listening to naysayers, and dance like a pro.
Like Gerald, men can be, and are, great role models for sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and neighbors.
I know it is true because I see it every day.
Fathers, keep up the good work and remember Gerald, the giraffe who found a different song and danced.
Until the next time: Live while you live!
(Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of My Clients…My Teachers, and the blogger and encourager of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.)
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