He knew I was coming.
My eighth grade son’s middle school was holding a blood drive. They do it about three times a year. Last time one was held, the Red Cross gave away blood drive t-shirts and I got one for my son. He also got whatever credit students get for getting people to come to community events like a blood drive. I told him I’d put his name down for similar credit when donated this time around.
I don’t think he expected to see me at school however.
I checked in at the office, required of any adult who visits a school, and then followed the signs to the blood drive. On the way, I saw a line of students headed back to class. I saw my son in line.
My son looked up and saw me. My first thought was to wave, but I kept my hands down. My son had only glanced at me and flashed a repressed smile. He’d expressed recognition through his eyes but that had been it. No wave. No “Hi, Dad.” No form of public acknowledgement.
I realized that would be the best I’d get.
At 14, my son was beyond the age of admitting in public that he had parents and there definitely wasn’t any way he would want people know that the balding, chubby older dude was his father. He would know longer run to me as he did when he was younger. I also knew that it would be that way for the foreseeable future.
Until he gets old enough that it doesn’t matter anymore.