This is a story that a friend from Minnesota shared with me. John Sterritt says that this particular memory of his dad brings a smile to his face and at the same time a tear to his eye.
After dinner one evening, John's dad took he and his younger sister to the park to hit the baseball and shag some flies. Just as they walked onto the grass John decided to toss the ball up and practice his homerun swing.
At that same moment he heard, "Jack DON'T!"
Being only 10 years old, of course Jack did. He said that he doesn't remember if he hit the ball or not, but he does remember hitting his ol' man who had knelt down behind him to tie his shoe.
The wooden bat met the bridge of his nose and the blood flowed. He fell like a sack of potatoes. After some direct pressure with a handkerchief and a lot of washing in the water fountain, the bleeding stopped.
He walked up, gave a shrug, and said, "How about we just play catch for awhile?"
What could have been a disaster and a moment best forgotten turned out to be a time of understanding and a moment to be remembered. In my dealings with John I find that this helped shape his character. He doesn't spare the discipline when it's needed, but he does take the time to reflect and compose himself before teaching the lesson.