Lately there have been some painful moments of watching my child play so innocently. He’s already encountering some funky playground politics. He just grins at kids who bully him – he thinks they are playing with him when they are actually being mean. Watching him follow them around even after they bully him is heartbreaking and sweet at the same time. Love that guy.
Then there are the adults we encounter on the street or in the store. 99% of these encounters are lovely – people saying hello and go to quite hilarious lengths to get him to smile. I love those moments. Then there are those occasional moments when my child says hello so brightly to an adult who just glares, sets their jaw or looks away, angry or bored. That’s totally, totally fine. Totally. But his sweet little face is so confused and he keeps trying to say ‘hi’ louder and smile more brightly. I makes me do one of those laugh/sigh/cringes and give him a kiss on his little cheek. Love that guy.
By far, the most painful thing is watching him bumble around so joyfully not knowing that his father actively denies his existence. The world is a rough place to be sometimes. I don’t even know how to put into words how that feels to me, and how I wonder it will feel to my child once he becomes aware of the world in that way. Worse though to be the man who is so confused as to not want to know and care for his own living and breathing child. I watch my son belly laugh with the fathers of other kids in playgroups and on the playgrounds and hope he grows up to be a truly kind man. Love that little guy.