I have a great deal of respect for my father. He was a good man. He was a hero. He risked his life routinely to make sure things like the holocaust never happened again.
Yet, he was a very quite man. There was always a secret, unspoken. He never shared much about who he was. He helped the world. He assisted everyone that came to his aid for help and advice, except me. I never knew why.
The incident that has always stood out in my mind came from my 8th, 9th or 10th grade year. A kid by the name of David Rye beat the holy living crap out of me. It was bad. I remember my father telling a guidence counselor that we'd either have to move away or he'd teach me to fight. Given my dad's skills as a counter-intelligence agent, I knew he knew how. I can't say I was relieved by the statement but I did know that I'd be able to defend myself. He never taught me. To this day, if I throw a punch, I count myself lucky to hit air.
His never teaching me when I was obviously under threat has always bothered me. Parents are supposed to defend their kids, even if that means teaching them to handle themselves when violence occurs. Today, I was cooking Chicken Marsala for dinner and it suddenly occurred to me what really happened.
Essentially, my father was a peaceful man. Yet, I know he had to kill to do his job. He never mentioned any mission where that occurred but hinted at it when it did not occur. It suddenly dawned on me that he didn't want me to gain any of his violent skills. I was always a non-violent kid. He didn't want that to ever change. It worked. I am a non-violent adult.