I want to give some props to a member of my family I’ve never mentioned before. I first became aware of Barry* during the first of the fall birthdays I got to attend after having been reunited with the Scotts (two and a half years ago as of this writing). I didn’t exactly meet Barry then. No, while we were reveling in the great room, he was in the front room playing with little Lara…his and Jamie’s daughter.
I think what struck me at the time was that he spent his entire time there (that I saw) with Lara. That’s not something I expected from a third-millennium young father in his early twenties. I’ve seen too many who either ignore their kids, or who only want sons, that seeing this young man dote on his little girl was an act of some note to me.
The first time I actually got to talk with Barry he’d just returned from a camping trip he took with Lara (then, almost three). Again, I was struck by the fact that he wanted to spend time with his little girl. (I should note that so far as I know, he doesn’t live with Jamie or Lara, but he is definitely a strong presence in their lives.) It was here that I found that he is very well-spoken and a very likable guy. It’s sad that this is surprisingly refreshing in today’s society, when it should be the norm.
Of course, this all stands in contrast to Digger, Mary’s ex, and father to their three girls. It’s been related to me (some verbatim, and some paraphrased) by most of these women that he just didn’t know how to deal with a pack of females. I can’t help but wonder if their father had been someone like Barry, what their lives would have been. (Of course, as the Universe has a keen sense of humor, things might not have been all that different or curiously off-kilter in an unexpected way…who’s to say otherwise?)
Anyway, in recent months I’ve gotten to spend a little more time with Barry, and seen more how he interacts with not only Lara, but Scarlet’s little girl, Dawn. This guy is definitely parent material. I mean, so far as I’ve seen, if you were looking for someone to raise a child, this young man would be a good choice. I’d like to think that had we met at the same age, we’d have become friends. As it is, I’m rather content that I can count him as one of my friends now…even though he’s family.