Blubbering – Day 271

You could almost call it springy, so Meredith and I sat outside at the burger joint, having a bite and a milkshake. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a dad and his son, a kid of about ten years old, sit down at a nearby table. Meredith and I were having a fairly animated conversation of our own, but out of the corner of my eye I see the dad head back inside, presumably to pick up their food order. And then I see this kid begin to cry. I mean awash in tears. Big gulping sobs. Face in the crook of his elbow, up-only-for-air crying. Wash the tears and snot away and repeat.

What could be wrong — had his dad refused him an order of French fries? Had he just told his father he was going to stay back in school a year? Did something happen to his mom? I kept up my end of the banter over at my table, but finally excused myself: I had to go check on this kid. So I popped over and got down on my haunches next to him. “Hey, buddy,” I began. “Is everything OK?” Buddy quickly wipes off his face with his sleeve, gives me a quick look of abject terror, and bolts into the restaurant.

So OK, perhaps I didn’t dry the tears of a tiny child — but I like to think I drove him into the arms of a loving father.

Sometimes you’re just the instrument of fate.

What was it all about? Who knows? Eventually they both came back to the table, more crying, the dad makes a call and hands his phone over to the kid, residual tear-shedding, and then, the silence of hamburger-eating. A lot I know about kids.

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2 Responses to Blubbering – Day 271

  1. Wow. That’s disturbing. Maybe Dad was saying, “sometimes two people who love each other stop loving each other in the same way. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything you did at all, but you are going to live with just Mommy for a while, I am going to live with Miss Jones. She’s nice, isn’t she? We’ll see each other a lot though.

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