Swimming lessons for my lovely Miss Madison at her school Tuesday morning at 8:15 in the AM, that's the task I was given by my wife. Every Tuesday, my wife has an early meeting so I have to take Maddie to her school or any events she has going on those mornings. Monday night I was informed that on this day Maddie had swimming lessons, and Cheryl had laid out a swimsuit, one of those cover-up deals, and Crocs for Maddie to wear. The swimsuit she had chosen was one that I was familiar with, and not for any warm and fuzzy reason. The swimsuit was a Dora inspired model that had a picture of the cartoon character, and was one of those that have the crossing straps that I believe were only invented to cause undue grief for dads who cannot figure out how they work. There are many things I have discovered since having a daughter that I just can't figure out, but this swimsuit thing has caused me much stress in the past. I told Cheryl, "Everything is fine, except that swimsuit, I can't do that swimsuit." She said, "It'll be OK that's the one that Maddie wants to wear." I replied, "No, you really don't understand. I CAN'T do the swimsuit. I have never been able to make the straps do whatever it is they are supposed to do." She tried to give me a lesson in Cross-Strap Swimsuit 101, but no matter how easy she made it look I knew that trouble was coming for me the next morning. I made sure to have a back-up blue swimsuit with normal straps on hand, but I was going to give it my best effort regardless. I'm not one to back down from a challenge, and I took this one on like any other. The morning came, and I woke the children up early. Jesse was tired from football practice the night before, but like the trooper he always is he got up and got after it. Maddie followed suit, and she was remarkably well behaved on this morning. Maybe she had the same foreboding sense of doom that I had, and knew trouble was brewing. The moment of truth came soon enough, and my first attempt at the swimsuit happened just like I thought it would. I got the swimsuit all the way on to the shoulders, but then those dang straps were hanging there not in their right place. The straps were taunting me, and my frustration grew. I tried several more times, but no success. I called my right hand man, my hero, young Jesse Christopher Perry to assist me. Jesse knows a lot about a lot of things, but he don't know nothing about cross-strap Dora swimsuits. We were at a stalemate, and I was so irritated that I yelled, "Please!! For the Love of Everything! Help me Lord!!" Maddie was upset, because I think she knew the chances were slim that I was ever going to figure out the swimsuit straps. I said, "I'm only gonna try this one more time, and then we're moving on to my blue normal strap back up." I grabbed the suit, put it on, pulled it up to her shoulders, and then the miracle. The straps just went into place, guided by divine intervention, no doubt. It was an amazing event to be sure. I kind of felt like Paul on the road to Damascus or Moses on Mt. Sinai. I had witnessed yet another Miracle. Maddie was able to wear the swimsuit she wanted, and it was good.
I have witnessed several Miracles in my time. Most recently in addition to the above mentioned "Dora Swimsuit Miracle." The "Jesse Walk-Off Miracle" happened back during baseball season. Down two runs in the last inning after a heart to heart with the man upstairs Jesse tattooed one with a man on, and we walked off with an amazing win. It could have been that Jesse is a fine baseball player, and it was pure skill, heart, determination, and awesome team work that won that game. I believe there was some miracle working going on there too, however. It's a miracle that I don't kill some folks on a daily basis. It's a miracle that I didn't end up dead or worse from a wild youth. It's a miracle that my lovely wife decided to spend her life with me, and the two kids...no doubt....miracles the both of them. This line of thought got me to thinking. One of the requirements for Sainthood involves miracles. Two verifiable miracles to be exact. I got that part handled. So I did some research to see what the other requirements were. The requirements are: Evidence of having led an exemplary life of goodness and virtue worthy of imitation, having died a heroic death (martyrdom), or having undergone a major conversion of heart where a previous immoral life is abandoned and replaced by one of outstanding holiness. Hold on here, I got a shot. I'm going to send in my resume today. I should go ahead and fill out my "Application for Sainthood." I wonder if they have that online or do I have to arrive in person. How would that look as an occupation, Saint. I need to pursue this further. I know there is already a Saint Christopher, but I bet there has never been a Saint PerryDawg. Hmmmm.
Yes. Miracles are everywhere. You just have to look around and you'll see them. They're in nature. They're in the faces and smiles of children. Babies laughing. Alabama football. I've known some sure enough Saints too by the way. My mother was a Saint to be sure. Saint Patsy has a good ring to it. My wife should qualify too, for putting up with me all these years, and doing it with such grace and patience. Well, that's the story of The Dora Swimsuit Miracle. I hope we've all learned a lesson from this story. Never buy a cross-strap swimsuit if you are a little-girl stuff challenged father.