Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Greatest Compliment I've Ever Received

My son in downtown Wilmington, NC. October 2011
When I lived in North Carolina, I would regularly take my son for walks along the riverwalk in downtown Wilmington. It was near by, free, and he loved watching the boats go by. It was also a nice way to spend some time together and get out of the apartment, something that was desperately needed as an unemployed stay-at-home dad.

We'd drive to to parking deck and when he was really young, I'd get the stroller out and he'd go for a ride as we enjoyed walking around. As he got older and more steady on his feet, I started letting him walk with me. Now as you are likely aware, 2-year olds aren't exactly the most swift walkers. In fact, they're downright slow.

So after spending about an hour downtown, looking at the boats, walking up to the fountain outside the courthouse and generally seeing everything there is to see with a 2-year old out for a walk, we started making our way back to the parking deck.

We get to the entrance and as we're walking by the payment booth a kind older gentleman who has been watching us looks at me and says "you're walking slow with your little guy there. A lot of parents I see are trying to rush them along, but you're walking at his pace."

Smiling, I tell him, "Thank you, I try."

We walk on up to our car on the second deck and drive out. I stop to give him my ticket (we were back within the free 90-minute period) and he smiles and says "have a great day."

It's been two years since then and I still think back to the kind older man who took the time to make me feel like a good father.