My office across the street from my son’s preschool. It is a nice coincidence that provides me with the opportunity to walk him into school and pick him up on a consistent basis. Not to mention that I am one of the few fathers that are regulars there which makes my son very happy because he is aware that the fathers of most of his classmates and friends rarely show up.
One of the things that I find interesting is that many of the other parents are people that I know from growing up. They are not necessarily friends or people that I have kept in touch with, but they are familiar faces. It is a little surreal sometimes to see them as parents, perhaps they feel the same way about me.
Today I ran into someone I had a crush on in high school. It happened as we were walking through the parking lot. She was just ahead of us as we walked out. To be rather graphic, she was bent over trying her child’s shoe and I was appreciative of the view. Suddenly she stood up and I recognized her immediately and thought back to the Spring of 1987.
I was on the swimteam and she was a cheerleader. We used to laugh at the cheerleaders attending our swimmeets because they often had no clue who they were rooting for. It wasn’t so much that they were stupid, but that they were bored. Swimming is not as glamorous as other sports, although it is a lot of fun.
On behalf of the other male swimmers it was also sometimes tough to speak with them because of the nature of our uniform. It was nothing more than a speedo and sometimes a parka. So it was very clear if were happy to see them, which is why we would often be standing in the shallow end when we spoke with them.
Although there were many times that we would be involved in conversations on land. I was always conscious about these conversations because they didn’t leave anything to the imagination and I suspect that the girls tried to take advantage of this sometimes.
And there was always one of us who would get caught on land with his persicope stuck in an upright position. If you were that guy, you could be sure that your fellow teammates would stick up for you by razzing you about it over and over again. Weren’t we nice.
Anyway, I digress as I am wont to do. This particular crush never made it beyond the fantasy stage. She and I had lunch at school a couple of times and we spoke on campus, but it never progressed beyond that. I thought that I was going to spend my freshman year in Israel and didn’t want to start anything new with anyone. Not to mention that I was a little nervous about asking her out.
Time moved on, we graduated and two decade laters I found myself in the parking lot watching her push a stroller while my son held my hand.
I don’t have any regrets about any of this, but it did make me think again about how the decisions we make impact our lives. Even little ones can push you in one direction or another.