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Friday, Sept. 1, 2006 | I receive all sorts of parenting advice from all sorts of people.

Some of it I take, some I ignore because I figure doing so will help increase the dramatic tension in the inevitable TV-movie that is going to be made about my life.

I learned a lot about parenting from my parents but they had been dead nearly 10 years before I decided to have kids of my own. It was a nerve-wracking experience because while I wanted kids in theory, I really had no idea what to expect and I feared I wouldn’t be able to rise up to the challenge.

Plus, when I found out that my first child was going to be a girl, I got extra fearful because I was afraid of her dating guys just like me.

But there was one man who turned things around for me and made me realize what a blessing children were – especially a girl – and he’ll be all over TV this weekend: Jerry Lewis.

I had the pleasure a few years ago to interview the comedian at his Las Vegas home. The interview was about a pain-killing device that numbs pain by sending electronic signals that override the body’s natural feelings of suffering.

I did my part and asked him the questions that needed to be asked for the story and Lewis was gracious enough to show me the Legion of Honor medal that was given to him by the French government.

When the interview was over, I sat waiting for my taxicab and that’s when the real magic began.

Sadly, I don’t have this part of the interview on tape but, basically, we started talking about families and my impending newborn and he could see the worry on my face (not that anyone could ignore it – I was in a state of shock from September to April).

Incredibly, he was very sensitive and explained that you can’t fear kids and that they’re a blessing. He was even more excited for me when I said I was having a girl. As a father of something like five boys and one girl, he said I couldn’t be luckier because “she’ll always be Daddy’s girl” as opposed to “Mama’s boy.”

In between his pep talk, the phone would ring. Loudly. And if his secretary of 40 years didn’t answer it, he would scream, “DO I HAVE TO ANSWER MY OWN F***ING PHONE?”

Then he would be as sweet as can be to me.

“Really, having a girl is great,” he said, pointing a picture painted by his daughter with a note saying she hopes he doesn’t hurt so much anymore.

“Yeah, but I’m worried about what’s going to happen when she starts dating. Especially if she dates guys like me.”

“You really can’t worry about that,” he said, adding that life is full of surprises.

Then I got a big surprise. He got up from his desk, turned around and bent over to pick something up and I saw the top of Lewis’ behind; the heinie of a man worshipped by the French. The heinie. of a man who has made millions of people laugh. The heinie of a man who has raised millions of dollars for muscular dystrophy.

In other words, this was a historically significant heinie.

When he turned around, I took in the depth of his comments and weighed them against what I just witnessed and realized that he’s right, life is full of surprises, and if you worry about what will happen, you might miss what you’re supposed to see.

Thanks Jerry.

David Moye is a La Mesa-based writer whose favorite Jerry Lewis movie, The Big Mouth, was filmed in parts of San Diego. You can reach him at moyemail@cox.net.

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