The kids and I walked to the park this morning. The park was crowded with a group of moms and their kids, mostly older boys, maybe ten to thirteen years old.
Within fifteen minutes the moms left with their kids. This took all of the children from the park but two. The two kids left were both girls, the oldest was around ten and the youngest was six. They were with their grandparents.
My son spotted the youngest girl playing in the space shuttle. He ran over to the space shuttle and climbed in. He sat down facing the little girl and they immediately started talking.
My daughter and I were playing on another part of the playground, but I kept an eye on my son from a distance.
He just sat there talking to this little girl. I have never seen him sit in one place for so long before. Seriously, he does not sit still for anything. At one point I heard the little girl ask him what he was doing later. He said, “Eating.”
My little guy sat taking to this little girl for about twenty minutes and this is how long my daughter took to realize that he wasn’t around playing with us. She started looking around for her little brother. She finally spotted him and hopped down and went running over to him. I thought about stopping her, but I let her go.
She climbed into the shuttle with the girl and her brother. The little girl and her started talking right away. I walked over to the grandparents to comment that I had never seen my son sit in one place for so long. They laughed. I laughed at the thought of him having a little crush on the girl named Bella.
My son climbed out of the shuttle after a few minutes of big sis cramping his style and putting a halt to his schwerve (schwerve is another way of saying “his groove“, “putting the moves on”). He walked towards the swings, his head hung low, shoulders hunched. He stopped at the swings. I could tell he didn’t know why he stopped, but he did. He looked at the ground for a few seconds, slowly bent down to pick up a leaf. He stood there methodically pulling little bits of leaf off and rolling the pieces into tiny balls.
I walked over to him. He looks up at me with this look of wanting to ask me a question but not sure what to ask. I say, “It’s time to go home and have lunch”. He drops the leaf and lightly slaps his hands on his legs and lets out a slight audible sigh. I reach for his hand. He places his little hand in mine and we walk back to the shuttle to get his sister.
We were half way back to the shuttle when he stops, looks up at me and says, “Daddy, I was going to try to hold her hand”
“I want to hold Bella’s hand”
All I could say was, “Oh, Buddy”.
What do I say to that? Poor guy.
We got to the space shuttle. I told the kids to say bye to Bella. I asked the grandparents if they come to the park often with the kids. Unfortunately, no they don't.
Halfway home my son says, “Bella needs to come home with me”. I tell him that she can’t do that. And then it dawned on me, he’ll probably never see her again. It reminded me of a song on John Mayer’s album Room For Squares called “A Love Song For No One”
Searching all my days just to find you
I’m not sure who I’m looking for
I’ll know it
When I see you…
I could have met you in a sandbox
I could have passed you on the sidewalk
Could I have missed my chance
And watched you walk away?
I think my son has the makings of his very own and first love song or a romantic comedy.
When we got home I washed both of the kids up for lunch. I’m helping my son dry his hands and out of the blue he says, “I like Bella”. There was this smile on his face. It was not a normal smile. There was something else to it. It’s as if he had thought about it, came to terms with him not being able to do anything about seeing Bella and then knew in his heart that this was it and regardless of the outcome of their journeys…bottom line is…he likes her. And it was reassuring to him.
It was that kind of smile.
I know, son. I had that same smile fourteen years ago when I met this one girl. We sat in a park and talked all night long. At the end of that night she gave me her phone number. We got married eight years later. Hang in there, Buddy.
This post was originally published in June 2011 on Super Daddy.