Yesterday afternoon, I went to meet LMC at the corner as she was walking home from school. I needed to go to the supermarket, and I didn’t want her to walk all the way home when I was in town anyway.
I waved as I saw her walking toward me, and she broke into a run. Then she threw her arms around me and said happily, “Boy, am I glad to see you!”
Before she had a chance to explain why, two ladies who had just walked out of the bank and stopped nearby both smiled at what they saw and heard. They probably thought I was her mum, and that she just loved me that much.
One said, “Oh! How beautiful!” The other said, “That’s so nice to hear! Just lovely!”
They both beamed at LMC and then at me, as if I had performed some kind of child-rearing miracle.
As LMC and I walked away, she explained that she wanted to go to the supermarket, and she needed to work out what to wear for a disco-themed out-of-uniform day for school. And could she have something special for an after-school snack? It wasn’t so much that she was happy to see me: it was rather that it suited her hopeful plans for me to be there at that time.
Even so, I’m glad she didn’t blurt that out in front of those ladies. It would have been awful to shatter their illusions of our idyllic family life almost as quickly as they were created.