Mother's Day

May 11th, 2014, 6pm

It was our first Mother’s Day together. And yet our respective mothers were thousands of miles away.

But it wasn’t sad. It’s hard to explain. I wasn’t glad we were alone, but tucked into this hidden playground—increasingly my favorite place in San Francisco: secret, protected—it’s as if it didn’t matter.

The sun was quickly hiding behind the millionaire’s houses, and here I was, a poor dad, pushing my daughter higher and higher as if she could touch the sky. As if she could reach out and capture the eucalyptus in the distant Presidio hills. As if she could join the barking pale green parrots making their way playfully back to Telegraph Hill.

I was singing; I always feel like singing in those moments. This time it was an embarrassingly sappy song from mid-career Sting. Divorced fathers. Kids. Parks. So literal. It just came to me like those breezes that suddenly brought a chill to the otherwise sunny spring day:

The park is full of Sunday fathers

and melted ice cream

we try to do our best

within the given time

And my daughter, always smiling, took interest in a father and his daughter invading our private space to enjoy their own moment in their own language.

In that moment, she looked serious, or curious; as if there’s a difference.

I was doing my best. Trying. Not begrudging my wife, her mother, for having to travel out of town. Hoping my mom wasn’t hurt by me, her son, moving as far away as possible.

They tried.

We try.

We could have stayed there for hours, but it was getting cold. It was time to go home anyway.

Shu, Samantha, Sanna and David Wade said thanks.

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