Several years ago, Andrew looked me square in the face and told me that his biggest fears were snakes and stingrays. Being the sensitive twenty-two year old that I was, I said "What?!?!" because my biggest fears were the dark (still true), spontaneously growing whiskers on my face (totally happened with pregnancy, by the way), and marrying someone who would try to make me "Mrs. So-and-So" rather than "My wife, Elisabeth".
A year or so into our marriage, I got the stingray thing because Andrew's mom (maybe dad?) emailed me a horrid photograph of ten-year-old Andrew in a lush, tropical setting, waist deep in water where everyone in his family is excitedly touching a stingray. Andrew, on the other hand, looked horrified and bent his back so far away from the stingray and twisted his face in such an absurd manner that the ten-year-old in the photograph looks absolutely nothing like my husband (or any photograph I've seen of him, either).
Still. The snake thing didn't make sense because, although I run away when I see snakes in the wild, Andrew has killed countless snakes while doing yard work and, if I remember correctly, was paid by his mom for every yard snake he got rid of when his family moved to Idaho right before his senior year of high school. So, I didn't really get it. But! I did get that it was an undisputed subject and, while other men may answer that their worst fears were, I don't know, losing all their money or never being able to own their favorite car (I just pulled those examples out of thin air), my husband's biggest fears were snakes and sting rays.
Anyway, I am happy to report that, today, when we took Max (and Cole!) to a natural life museum in Blue Springs, Andrew didn't even flinch when one of the workers offered to let Maxwell (and all the other kids present) touch a snake. So, while I held Henry and stood back, Andrew walked up to that sucker with Max and held his other hand while Max felt the snack once... and then twice... and then six or seven times because, well, Max loves snakes.
Moral of the story: My husband deserves a gold star in fatherhood.
Also, I am really good at blabbering on about nothing.
PS. The third picture above is Maxwell touching the tail of a snake. He was fascinated.