14 May 2014

Fathering done rightly: Rise, Sir Knight

Knowing of my love of things medieval and thinking I would find it enjoyable, a good friend from Effingham just sent to me a column by Marc Dion titled, "Rise, Sir Knight," in which says of the 2:00 break of life, "And it's so not bad. After all, I'm still a knight."

The short column is about his childhood and his relationship with his father, who, when Dion asked to be made a knight at the age ten, obliged:
He made a sword from two pieces of wood, and he took me out in the backyard, in a sunny spot between the trees, and he told me to kneel.
My father spoke French as his native language, and he'd won the Latin prize in his high school and had served as an altar boy in the days of the Latin Mass.
Using both languages, he knighted me, tapping me on both shoulders with the blade of the sword.
And he bid me rise, saying that I must be a "chevalier sans peur et sans reproche," which is French for a knight without fear and beyond reproach.
I learned much later that those words were used to describe Pierre Terrail, a famous 16th-century French knight.
I am, of course, not without fear and I am not without reproach, but I have struggled after both all my life.
The ending of his column is particularly touching, but I don't want to give it away; you should read it for yourself.

Oh, she was right: I enjoyed it very much.

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