I arrive on time but they're already in the cafeteria and I can't find him. All these little 5 and 6 year olds look the same and I'm frustrated at myself for not being able to find mine. I check with the office because I don't see the teacher either. Yes, they're at lunch now. I go look again, this time getting some weird looks from the lunch room ladies. Eventually I find him, at the end of the table, wearing a birthday crown.
So I've already lost 10 minutes of lunch time and I feel like a crap dad for not being able to recognize my own son in a crowd. After about five minutes of eating with me at the little picnic tables outside of the cafeteria, he asks if he can go back and sit with his friends.
Ms. A reminds me that it's not what he knows now, it's what he'll remember when he's 30 and telling his kids what their grandpa was like. It's the memories he'll have of these small events like lunches at school that he'll cherish. Plus, we at least had a few minutes together and I'm really glad he has friends he likes enough that he'd leave me for them.
But he's six now and these times are not as often as they were and they'll get fewer and fewer as he gets older. My hope is that he and I stay friends, because I like him.
Happy Birthday Little Man.
at 12:01 PM