I love to watch people. Especially when they think no one is watching.
Every morning, I drop Nick and Anna off at school, and sometimes I watch the other parents. I’m one of those moms that sits in a line of cars until we reach the “drop off.” It’s pretty handy, because I don’t have to get out of the car, and the kids only have to walk about 20 feet to the school entrance where parent volunteers greet them as I drive away and blow a few kisses.
There’s one father I’ve been watching as I wait in line. Every morning – even in the freezing cold weather – he parks his car and walks his two girls to the school entrance. Every morning, he holds their hands until they reach the door. Every morning, he bends down and kisses them and says a few parting words. He’s never rushing around or running late, and he escorts his girls to school like it’s the most important moment in his day – like he’s a prince escorting two princesses to the royal ball.
He doesn’t know I’m watching. I thought about stopping him and saying, “Hey, I’ve been watching you, and I think it’s really sweet the way you walk your girls to the door and say goodbye to them every morning.” But I decided I would probably embarrass him. Or worse, he’d think I was a stalker. So I decided to write about him instead.
I wonder what people think about me when I don’t know they’re watching, especially when I'm with my kids. Am I a crazed woman who is rushing around, running late, and about to become unglued? Or, am I calm, patient, and inviting?
Who are you when nobody’s watching?