mothers of convention

Yesterday, while walking, from a distance I noticed a man riding a bike somewhat slowly and wobbly. As we approached each other, I realized he was riding alongside a boy (10? 11?). Ah! Father encouraging Son. And so as we passed each other, I clapped for the young runner. I had a while to think about whether I was going to do that. My father almost always does that when he sees runners. He told me at some time while we were out walking that everyone smiles when he claps for them. He did admit that some runners are too focussed on their running to smile, as it happened as we passed a guy who didn’t look like he smiled for anyone. So I chose here to channel my father. I would never have done that if the boy weren’t with his father, or if he were older, or…probably most any other scenario. My father is the poster child for salesmen–extrovert, self-confident, optimist, and full of life. I chose the phrase poster child for a reason. Being with the great-grandchildren really helped bring himself back to his youthfulness, even if he is watching them run and jump, rather than doing the running and jumping himself. But I’m not him. (he?) I channeled back the teacher in me to clap for the boy. I was worried that the father was maybe being too harsh with him. The boy himself was pretty wobbly, just on the edge of a major growth spurt, with legs longer than he knew what to do with. I grabbed a shot after we parted. running alongside father   I actually cropped the photo quite a bit; my shyness introversion manners kept me from shooting them from the other side. Even if you open the photo wide up, you probably won’t be able to see the younger child riding on the back of the bike… The other side always shows something. And isn’t that the point? That we never really see the whole picture? And what do you think? Did the boy smile? And what about the father?

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2 thoughts on “mothers of convention

  1. I think many of us share these moments of awkwardness when we have a couple of moments to arrange our greetings/reactions and aspire to reach out a little farther than our comfort zones. Well done!

    1. Thank you! I guess that is really the goal of life–to push us past our comfort zones, in whatever field we find ourselves.

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