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Another Life Lesson From Dad

Supporting evidence for the importance of a father's presence in their young daughter's life...

“What’s that now?”

I first swallowed then spat, before explaining again.

“Trap the pointier edges between your upper and lower front teeth.”

“Like this?”

"No." I showed her again.

"Like this?"

“Kinda.” I then spat.

“Like this?”

“Better.”

“This?”

“Yes. Perfect.” I spat again.

“Now, bite down until you feel it split.” I waited for the snapping sound before I spat again.

“But not too hard. You just want to break the shell enough so you can fish out the seed.”

I spat several more times while waiting for confirmation that she had successfully completed this tricky stage.

“Dad, I think I got it.”

“Good.” I spat yet again.

“Use your tongue to separate the seed from the broken shell bits.”

“Okay,” she mumbled. "I'll try."

I waited for some time while expertly shucking and chucking several more seeds.

“Hold the shell fragments with your tongue away from the seed, so you can eat the sunflower seed and not any of the shell bits.”

I spat one last time. The next stage required precise timing and concentration.

“After you chew and swallow the seed, spit out the shell bits.”

In the rear view mirror, I watched my daughter prepare for her first sunflower seed-spitting attempt from a moving vehicle.

“Spit hard, or the shell bits will land on your arm or shirt, or they’ll just stay in and around your mouth and face. Got it?”

“Got it.”

“On the count of three. Ready?”

“Ready,” she beamed, oddly more excited about spitting out of a car window than I ever expected her to be.

“One.”

I watched her closely, noting her intense focus.

“Two.”

The corner of my mouth mischievously curled.

On three, I pressed the button, quickly raising her window for the glass to receive her slobbery mixture of shell bits, the uneaten sunflower seed, and a mouthful of all-dressed-flavored, young lady-like spit.

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