ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Family and Parenting»
  • Parenting Skills, Styles & Advice

A PLAYGROUND, A SON AND A FATHER'S OBSERVATION

Updated on April 21, 2012

His day was before him. His life stretched even further ahead. But, as he stood there in his khaki slacks and flannel shirt, his red hair waving without the help of the wind, his focus was no further than the plastic and metal toys behind the grey chain link fence of the play ground.

It was like they were calling his name. The look he was giving them said he was being beckoned, maybe even challenged by the toys he longed to meet.

And yes, I believe they knew his name by now. He watched them every morning on his way into the school house and then every afternoon on his way home. I am sure that he found any available window to watch them from inside. I believe these toys and my son knew each other well by now. But, on this morning, my focus was not on his three year old frame and I again missed the chance to introduce him to the toys. It was only later that I realized that I had missed a chance to grip this innocence that so defines his child hood.

He stood beyond the car as I got first one sister then another out of their seats. He reached down and grabbed a hand full of rocks in his tiny hands. Only three or four rocks would fit in each hand but he took up as much as he could and stood there staring. After a few seconds he slung the first rock several feet, not in the direction of the playground but rather in a direction in which the playground could see very well it was he who had thrown the first rock.

With both sisters out of the car by now, I joined him. Another rock then another was flung. Finally he had no more rocks. He reached down and grabbed a few more as I demanded that they be dropped. He didn’t listen.

He was in another world. It was as if he was a gladiator and the toys were the lions or he was the great conqueror and the playground was his quest. Another rock was thrown then another until he had again emptied his hands. This time, I took one hand in mine and led him across the parking lot, a sister holding the other hand.

By now it had begun to mist. The rain of the last several weeks that had kept him from going inside the fence was threatening again. I tried to hurry them across the parking lot and into the safety of the school house but his backward glances delayed the progress.

The youngest sister in my arms being shielded from the mist, was still in awe of her siblings. She watched as they walked, as if memorizing their steps for later trials. The other sister, at two, focused on the glass door ahead as if in her mind she was trying to remember what came after B and C and then D.

Still, he looked backward with each step to make sure the toys had neither advanced nor retreated.

A missed step or two and he ascended the five risers in front of the school house, still glancing backwards with determination. Anyone watching would surely believe he was incapable of making the climb. But, he was quite capable.

He had started walking a few weeks shy of his first birthday. That was quickly followed by running and that naturally progressed to climbing the couch, the chair and everything else he could find. I believe that is why he revered the toys on the playground as much. He had yet to climb those. He had yet to run with them. He was just waiting for his time.

As we opened the glass doors leading into the office, three sets of eyes gazed at the desk and the sign in sheet while one set focused through the glass, back to where we had just entered. As we walked past the doors that lead to the class room, it was almost as if he had given up; at least for now.

His posture was not nearly as strong as it was when we were near the playground. I, at the time, still didn’t recognize what had caused the change. I believed that it had something to with the fact that we were inside the school that he seemed to despise. He did not despise school because he hated to learn. He loved to learn. But he loved to climb and run even more.

A hug and a kiss from his three year old frame and another from his sister and I was out the door as quick as I had come in. The youngest sister was still not in school yet so she and I crossed the parking lot in the mist and she was settled back into her seat with a smile on her precious face. Then I was in my seat.

As I started to crank the car it was only then that I noticed the playground and how it seemed to sneer.

I sat there for a few minutes in the quiet and thought about what had just happened. I remembered his three year old stance when near the playground. I remembered the rocks. I even thought of the missed steps and the backward glances. I felt a pain in my heart knowing that my son had posed a challenge and walked away. I knew it hurt his heart. The disappointment was shared between a father and a son.

It took several more days for me to fully understand and process that morning. But, by the next week, the rain had stopped.

Then, one afternoon when I picked them up from the brick school house, I saw him outside in the luminous sunshine. It seemed to be even brighter on this day. It could be because the sun had not shone in several weeks or it could be because the smile of a three year old was adding to the brightness.

He was inside the fence. His face showed triumph as he climbed and ran. There were at least a dozen other children playing inside the fence but he didn’t notice them and neither did I.

I sat in the car and watched from a distance. I smiled.

I thought about how many times he had passed the playground without going inside the gate. I thought about the morning, a week ago, when I finally understood his feelings. Mostly though, I watched my son in his victory. It was a victory shared by a father and a son.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Tom Koecke profile image

      Tom Koecke 6 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

      He's lucky to have a dad like you to learn from.

      You're luckier to have a child like him to learn from.

      Great story!

    • stanleyreese profile image
      Author

      stanleyreese 6 years ago from Alabama

      "Relax Dad, It's Just the Kitchen" is now available on Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com. Order your Father's Day copy today before it's too late!

    • stanleyreese profile image
      Author

      stanleyreese 6 years ago from Alabama

      Update: My first book will be sent to the publisher in March 2012. It's a book for Dads who need some help in the kitchen. The title is forthcoming.

    • stanleyreese profile image
      Author

      stanleyreese 7 years ago from Alabama

      Parenthood is a worderful hood to live in!

    • stanleyreese profile image
      Author

      stanleyreese 8 years ago from Alabama

      Thanks. He is an awesome kid!

    • profile image

      Diana Glisman 8 years ago

      Awesome story!!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)