So remember a few months ago when I was dropping my daughter off from school and while I was parking I bumped the car behind me? The guy shook me down and said if I gave him $20 it would all go away so I called the Police? When the police asked him for his license he didn’t have one? The guy who I had planned to start randomly reporting to police for driving without a license? Well, if none of this rings a bell, it really happened that way. Needless to say the he never contacted my insurance company.
Monday, my daughter pointed out his daughter. Let’s call her Martina (really her name I think) and today when I was dropping my daughter off, this little girl went out of her way to say hello to Kethry. When Kethry replied, Martina’s face light up with joy and I looked at Kethry who was wearing the same expression. At that second a dad’s love see’s things that only a dad’s love can notice. This little girl is not just my daughter’s classmate, she is my daughter’s friend.
I was a difficult child. I probably could have had a lot more friends then I did, were it not for my mom. I got lucky that my first ‘Best Friend’ was the son of the lady who was also my before and after school childcare named Jason. The reason I can say that I was lucky, is because my mom nor I could sabotage this relationship. The Foits, Sue and Don the patriarchs and their children Jason and Nicole have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and close to if not exactly the same age as I was when I met Jason, oh so many years ago.
All of this weighed heavily on my conscience and made me watch their interaction closer. Martina is a special needs child like Haplo and I had already seen her on bad days, upset Kethry with how she treated her and I had also seen how cute it was when she treated Kethry like her friend. I saw how much happier it made Kethry to be friendly with her and how Kethry seemed to just accept that there were times when Martina would be difficult a lot like she does with her brother. Then I thought to myself, what if this were Haplo and I were the parent and it was my kid who was on the bring of losing that first and all important best friend? Haplo never really got to be that close to Emily-O who he named his first pet, a kitten, after. Although we refer to her as the Orange Kitty, she is officially Emily-Oh. So as I walked with Kethry to her classroom, I observed how she interacted with Martina and how everyone interacted with them and each other.
I love to watch people be people. I like to watch them go about their daily lives because often times they are very entertaining. More then animals in a zoo. As such I have learned a lot about observing without being intrusive. Very few of the kids actually say more then hello to each other. Kethry and Martina walked and talked holding hands towards the classroom. They greeted their fellow students as they passed by and their fellow students seemed to just look and not respond. I quickly noticed that the other kids seemed to shy away from both Kethry and Martina. Now, I am sure that some parents would immediately try and jump to the conclusion that it was because Kethry was friends with Martina, the known ‘bad’ element. But, I can’t do that because *I* was that same bad catalyst and am just not willing to subject someone else to that stigma without adequate justification. Having been there myself and seen how they did the same with Haplo. So instead I see it as 2 versus the masses.
So I waited for Dad to come out of the classroom after dropping his daughter off and I said “Look, we need to talk” to which he replied “About what.” “Your daughter and my daughter are friends and as their parents we cannot be having disagreements that put us at odds. You have a special needs child, and I have a special needs child so I can understand your situation. I also know that my daughter genuinely likes your daughter and your daughter seems to genuinely like my daughter. I love my daughter and while I want what is best for her, I also want her to be happy. I know how important my first friendship was and I do not want to possibly interfere with that. If I allow my angst with you to continue, it will ultimately effect their friendship.” We are going to continue discussing it this afternoon when I go to pick my daughter up from school. My goal is to try and make sure that I do not get in the way of their friendship and that I do everything I can to enable it. If Martina is a bad kid, it is my hope that Kethry’s good behaviors will rub off on Martina.
Sting made me realize in the 80’s that a parent’s love for their children overrides everything else in his song Russians, with the lyric ‘What might save us, me and you, is if the Russians love their children too.” It’s what made nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union more a joke as sting goes on to say “There’s no such thing as a winnable war, it’s the lie we all don’t believe anymore.” So if Juliet’s father had of truly loved his daughter and been concerned about her happiness he would have had an open communications channel with her. I love my daughter and I also know what it is like to be Martina. Those two combined brought me to this point and guided the formulation of my plan which I think is much more satisfying then anger, angst and revenge.