Dad’s Reflection

Logan just didn’t like what he saw. And he had to look at it every day.

At least, he had to if he wanted to give the impression that he didn’t go straight from bed to school.

That groggy, sullen face gazed back at him from the bathroom mirror, and if it could talk, Logan was sure it wouldn’t have anything nice to say to him. He could imagine it. You slouching slob. You can’t get any answers right in math class. You stink at taking tests. Your teachers think you’re dumb, and they’re right. You’ll never get a girlfriend. Your friends probably think you’re a loser and are only acting like they like you.

In his mind, he shot back at the image. Your hair is a mess. Your nose is too big. You always look like you’re squinting. Your voice cracks like crazy. Those zits? It’s like Mount Vesuvius is holding a family reunion on your face.

Ouch. Logan frowned.

A light knock came at the door.

“Yeah? Who is it?” Logan said, his voice quiet and, of course, cracking.

The door opened just enough for his dad’s head to fit through. “Good morning, son!” He stepped in and stood next to Logan. He put a broad hand on Logan’s shoulder. “About ready for school?”

“Yeah. You leaving for work?”

His dad said yes and started talking about something he had going on that day at the office. But Logan stopped listening and looked a little more closely at their reflection. People said he looked like Dad, but he hadn’t really tried to see it before.

Dad had the same oversized noseā€”and it fit his adult face better. His eyes were a bit narrowed, almost squinty, behind his glasses. Styling gel slicked his hair down because when he didn’t use it, he said, his hair looked like a bird’s nest. A blemish here and there dotted Dad’s face. And as the sound of his voice filtered through Logan’s thoughts, Logan realized as his voice deepened, it was starting to sound like Dad’s.

But Dad wasn’t dumb, and he wasn’t a loser. He was neither a slouch nor a slob. He had a job that gave his family a comfortable life. People trusted him and asked for his advice. He spent time with his family, and they loved him.

“Are you okay, Logan?” Dad asked. “Is everything okay at school? Anything you want to talk about?”

“Nah,” Logan replied with a crooked smile. “It’s all good.”

“There you go, that’s the right attitude.” Dad smiled, sorta lopsided, gave him a tight hug, and then stepped back. “Just remember, you’re my son, and you can do anything.”

The funny thing is that Logan felt like it was true. Maybe the problems he saw in the mirror weren’t such problems after all. They were just signs he was turning into a man, however gradually. But not just any man; a good man. One like his dad. One who could get past whatever life threw at him.


Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on Pexels.com


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