Sit and observe…
It is a little uncomfortable when it has been neglected, as I collect what I can into a McDonald’s paper bag destined for the bin. The seatbelt restricts me no matter what height level it is set at and I notice it’s always worse when the weather is warmer. The gentle breeze slips in through the window as I wait, engine off in the car park. Ooh peace.
As I wait enjoying the silence before the schoolyard screams as the concrete block releases its people, before the stereotypical dad comes swerving in, in his souped-up tinpot of a car that’s unnecessary to rev as much when he lives within walking distance of the school. As I wait for his glare which I meet confidently every day until he looks down defeated again. I laugh inwardly, remembering the only time he mouths off is when he drives away. Ooh big man.
The field surrounding the greying concrete block pops its greenery, birds flocking looking for worms or dropped crusts from packed lunches. The gauge reads 17 Degrees Celsius yet it feels warmer. Ooh it’s hot.
We texted earlier, I know how his day went up until lunchtime. I’m nervous now, silently praying nothing happened in the last hour.
The heavy black metal doors swing open and out pour the uniformed souls of varying ages, heights, genders, races, creeds. Some race to their parent’s cars with big smiles, some skulk off to the bus stop. Some just mill around looking lost while others play fight and chase each other. Ooh banter.
The minutes pass by, where is he?
We’re all looking for our kids, but what do we really see? Do other parents feel the pang of nostalgia at their bygone schooldays? Do they look at other parents in silent judgement? Does anyone notice the irony in a big girl calling an even bigger girl “a fat bitch” for no apparent reason? Why doesn’t anyone call out that sly little sod tripping people over? Am I parallel parked in a parallel universe here ? Ooh it makes me mad!
And then, I see him. His eyes meet mine over his mask through my windshield. I see him. Tall, smart, purposeful in his stride. Wary of crossing moving cars to get to me. His discreet wave. He opens the passenger door, greets me cheerfully and puts his bag in the footwell. I greet him back and we hug in the car. I don’t want to let him go but I can’t sit there all night. He fills me in on the blanks of his day, as people drive off towards home for the evening. Ooh what’s for dinner?
Course, I haven’t seen them… I was too focused on him. It’s only evident it people left as we are the last car in the car park.