After School

Months ago, the hummingbird was on the playground after school and I noticed a dad I had seen several times before.

He stood out to me on all of those occasions since he would be standing around the playground after school while his daughter would swing, and her pink, sparkly, glitter backpack would be thrown over his shoulder, which I found very sweet. Then, they would walk back to their car while I would pass them by, going the other way.

One particular day, there was a man I hadn’t recognized at pick up that was waiting. He stood out because of his big beard. He had nothing on ZZ Top but, it was still substantial.

On this particular day, the little girl came out and went right to the bearded man while the other guy was standing back. The situation was pretty easy to sum up… dad, daughter, and stepdad. The two men didn’t exchange any conversation, just a nod. The stepdad told the girl they needed to get going and she was in tears before he finished telling her she had to leave her dad.

The stepdad took her pink, sparkly, glitter backpack over his shoulder and tried to have her walk to the parking lot. She was holding on to her dad with tears running down her face and that’s when the dad suggested he’ll walk her to the car too.

I watched as they left for the parking lot and there was this sadness that came over me and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. It’s one of those things that got to me, hit a nerve. Seeing the quiet acceptance that both men had for each other was so foreign to me but also really nice to witness.

Growing up, my parents and stepparents were at odds. It could turn absolutely crazy at times. I was usually around adults who didn’t think about the outcome their actions would have on their children as far as my biological dad and stepmother were concerned.

The way that little girl cried and wailed at the thought of no longer being in the safety and comfort of her father’s arms and the stepdad walking along with them made me see how things can actually be civil between adults when it comes to children being involved.

It also made me look at my husband and I and how we interact with each other can have a big affect on the hummingbird. It’s made me more aware that how she sees us as parents will have an impact on her romantic relationships and friendships. I saw so much fighting when I was growing up, I actually thought that was the sign of a good relationship.

It took meeting my husband all these years ago to find out that’s not the case at all. I really don’t have any kind of point to this post, just that seeing that after school moment was a powerful thing for me. It made me more aware of teaching my daughter what a healthy relationship is, not only with her partner some day, but with others.

*Icky Thump

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