It is school holidays in three of the eight states and territories in Australia with the other five starting their two week Spring break next Monday. My wife worked today so I had our school aged son with me at work (which conveniently is also our house) and when I had to go out to pick up some items from a trucking depot and take them to customers he came with me.
I remember spending the whole week at work with my own dad both my parents worked full time and I bounced between sometimes going in with him, sometimes going in with her, and sometimes going to a friend of my mother’s who looked after me for a week or two during the holidays when I was younger. I loved going to work with my dad because as he had to go out and see customers (as I do now) I got to travel with him and stop off at lunchtime to get something more exciting than the boring sandwich I might have had at home.
As my son and I were out during lunchtime today we stopped off to get some sushi.
In front of us was another dad with his three children; two boys and one girl. My son is a bit of a daydreamer and somehow seems to float around like he has not a care in this world. It’s good in some aspects, worrying in other aspects. The father was waiting in line with his daughter who, from my best guess was his middle child based on her height in relation to her brothers.
The boys were just over at the next counter looking at what they wanted before heading over to the line we were waiting in. Seeing that they were joining their father and sister I took a step back to allow them room whilst my son just stood there and didn’t move. The older son stood in front of his dad and sister whilst the younger one slipped in behind.
And then it happened. The dad reached behind him just off to the side and rubbed my son on the head in a loving fatherly manner and asked him what he wanted for lunch.
Now my son was none the wiser. I’m assuming he thought that it was me who was rubbing his head (that sounds a bit weird; a better way to describe it is scrunching the hair in your hand but with a gentle caress of the scalp). Do you get what I’m saying? I hope I’m painting the picture here.
Then the dad looked down and saw that he was touching my son rather than his. Then he looked at me with the most embarrassed look on his face and said;
“I am so sorry. I thought it was my son.”
And then pointing at his youngest son who was within an inch of my own boy in height.
“Look, they are the same height almost…”
His own son was daydreaming himself, much like my own. I’m fairly sure I could have scrunched his hair myself and he would have assumed his own father was doing it. Maybe it’s just that age.
“No worries mate. It’s all good.”
Seriously, it was. By this time it was their turn to order lunch and as I watched the dad place the order for his family I thought that he looked like such a loving and caring dad and that’s the story that we need to keep telling. I can only imagine that this dad took time off of work to be the carer of his children these school holidays. And even if he’s just doing it for this week, or every other day swapping days with his wife, or they are palming the kids off to their grandparents, or he’s a shift worker who works nights to allow his wife to work during the day, whatever his story is, I only wanted to think about the positives.
Sure he put his hand on my child, but that was far from his intent. His movement of his hand behind him to reign in his daydreaming son and get his order for lunch without taking an eye off of the counter to watch for his turn is the stuff that Supermums are made of. And Superdads it would seem.
I am just glad that it was the child of a Dad Blogger that he unwittingly touched rather than the child of a Mum Blogger. The story being written could have been quite different.