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Have you every watched a truly loving father rough-house with a son or daughter? Even as the child flies up in the air or tumbles onto a couch, fears are lost in the midst of the fun.

I was fortunate enough to have a father who enjoyed this kind of play. He would tickle me until I screamed or make funny faces to elicit the giggles he desired. After an exhausting round of being tossed here and there, I would collapse on his chest and listen to his heart beating. I could smell the unsmoked tobacco from his chest pocket. It was the safest place on Earth and sleep would often follow.

Rough play with parents doesn't always end well. On one occasion, my father dropped me onto the coffee table causing my lip to split open. Ouch! After Mom applied ice wrapped in a washcloth, they both decided I would need a few stitches to close the wound. Though my wound hurt a little, there was no fear as they took me to the emergency room and laid me on the examining table. I didn't completely understand what was about to happen and fear crept in. They ask my father to hold me down so they could stitch up my lip. As I looked up at him, his face was wracked with guilt and pain. I tried to smile at him to cheer him up. There was no condemnation on my end and I knew the secret. As long as he was there for me, everything would soon be alright.

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