Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Dear Kid on the Playground,
My daughter and I were swinging at a local playground a couple of days ago when you came over to play as well. I'm sure you remember this, since you are still young.
You stood on the yellow plastic chair swing next to us, as I pushed Annabelle higher and higher at her emphatic request. You seemed interested in our antics, as you smiled at us. Then you told my daughter that you liked her glasses. She didn't really respond, but that was because she was busy gaining altitude, her arms stretched out in front of her pretending to fly. Plus she was being a bit shy.
So, that's why I answered for her. "Thanks!" Grown ups do that a lot. It's called being polite for your kids. Anyway, then you asked her how old she was, and she did respond. Just not too loud. "Three" I helped out once again.
Then you proceeded to shimmy up the swing bar, the one that angled backwards, so effortlessly that I was duly impressed. As you hung there at the top, nearly 10ft high I asked you your age. You responded seven with conviction and an ease of tone. Then as you swung back and forth on the bar, you engaged us in even more conversation. You told us about your school, and how you were almost done with 2nd grade and about how you like to climb a lot.
Once back down, you even started showing Annabelle just how to climb up the pole. Taking her shoes off was a helpful tip (although I groaned just a bit because you know who has to put them back on, don't you?) Even though I then helped her climb up with some bottom support, she was smiling because the 'big girl' was showing her how. She loves climbing too, by the way.
Once you even looked over at me when Annabelle was turned away, and whispered exaggeratedly "Her glasses are SO cute!", which was pretty cute in and of itself.
If I had thought to pick out your parent(s) from the crowd conversing not far away at the edge of the playground I might just have gone over to them and indicated how impressed I was with your kindness towards Annabelle, and the ease with which you struck up a conversation with this dad and his daughter. As a grown up you often think of those things later. Things you wish you had done in the moment. Then you say 'Oh well."
But there was something else you said during that interaction that afternoon which actually made me laugh inside. Inside, but out loud inside.
It was when you turned to me with a smile and said "You know, you look a lot like my dad, when he was younger." I paused for a moment, only because I was fully processing that statement.
"Yeah? How old is your Dad?" I curiously replied.
And when you responded matter-of-factly "Thirty Four", I just smiled outwardly, did the mental math, and had that internal moment of blissful amusement.
Anyway, thank you cute kid on the playground. You certainly made this 48 year old dad chuckle.
Typically, this is a job reserved only for my own children.
Posted by James (SeattleDad) at 9:28 PM