Fun Parents

As I sat down at McDonald’s today to tap into their internet and slurp on an slightly sweetened iced tea, I was greeted by a family sitting two tables in front of me.

The dad in his early 20’s had droopy jeans, a knitted hat pulled over his head with a bit of hair sticking out, an unshaven face, and a couple of tattoos above his elbow peaking out from under his t-shirt.  The mother had her back to me.  She had shoulder length black hair with a black t-shirt.  The youngest child (under 2) was in a highchair with his hair combed into a rooster type style.  The older brother (no older than 4) was facing me, but blocked by his mother.  He looked to be his younger brother PLUS 2 or 3 years.

As I notice the youngest brother begging pancakes off of his father’s plate, I see the smile on dad’s face as he continues to fill the nearly perpetually gaping mouth.  I see little brother reach for dad as he goes to refill his Dr. Pepper (Don’t leave me dad.) .  I see mom haul little brother to the bathroom to change a diaper.  I see big brother watching everything going on while keeping the hand moving from plate to mouth.  I see how both boys are wearing clothes that could easily be described as pajamas.  I decide I will say something to the parents (see Blessed Eggs), but as they get up from their table, they go into the play area.

When they emerged from the play area, I couldn’t help but make a comment.  I am not sure it was the best comment, but it was the one I had:

"You must be fun parents.  Not every parent would let their kids wear pajamas on a     drizzly day."
"Thank you. The boys insisted.  They just got their new pajamas yesterday.", she       replied.
"You guys enjoy the rest of your day.", I said with a smile.
"You, too.", the dad said with a bigger smile

It isn’t your appearance or my standards that make you a fun parent.  It is how your kids see you.  I have no idea what this family’s home looks like, but I know this family knows how to love their kids.  I am not so arrogant to think my words made any difference in their day, but saying the words did in mine.

Syrup on the pajamas? No problem.  I am sure this loving mom will have them washed for bed tonight.

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