My family and I were fortunate to live in a nice middle-class neighbourhood with pretty, luxury SUV-driving soccer moms around every corner. One particular day, my three-year-old son and I had been sent to run errands and pick up groceries for the week. Like any other day, we entered the store and went about our business selecting our eggs, milk, meat, and cereals. Happy, my son sat in the cart as we made our way through the store. As we turned down our next aisle I heard a young boy say, “Look at the guy, mom.” My son and I both turned to see a young boy, with his well groomed mother, pointing at me. “Look at that guy, mom,” he repeated, this time catching his mom’s attention. As her eyes met mine I saw them widen, then an expression of fear or disgust flashed across her face. “Quiet,” she answered him before they promptly fled the aisle. Without missing a beat my boy, realizing what had just happened, put his hands on mine and rubbed them, proclaiming, “You’re the best dad ever, I love you.”
That day stayed with me; my son’s innate social wisdom and compassion, and the knee-jerk reaction of the well-heeled mom and her son. That response became our new normal. Whenever I was with my spouse and kids, at the zoo, the mall, or an amusement park, people stared. The judgement and disapproval were clear, those poor kids. When they saw the pretty brunette with me I can only assume those confused stares meant they were trying to figure out if she was my sister, or maybe my parole officer. I’m certain they never suspected she was my wife at the time.
Thanks for joining us on this leg of the journey. We appreciate you tuning in. We’ll have another post next week.
Until next time,