“I’m going to go talk to those girls.”
I’d heard that bold statement a countless number of times. Every time we went to the bar in college, someone from our group would utter those 8 ½ words.
We were in a suite at AT&T Stadium, watching Baylor play Texas Tech. The game was well into the second half when my son turned his attention from the action on the field to a couple of 8-year-old girls. They were playing underneath a table at the back of the suite. I really hadn’t noticed them until The Boy tugged at my shirttail to get my attention and layout his plan of attack.
The only response I could muster was: “Sounds good, buddy.”
Even though I was at a loss for words, I was over-the-top intrigued. So, I watched my son – who is usually awkwardly shy – from across the room. He puffed out his little chest and walked towards the girls with a slight strut and goofy grin.
He looked back with an “I’m really going to do this” smirk. I just smiled and gave him a thumbs up.
I don’t think he actually said anything to the two girls when he approached them, he just jumped head first into their 8-year-old world.
The outcome also reminded me of trips to the bar in college; those girls were unimpressed and wanted nothing to do with my boy. I totally understood. They were too busy being 8 years old. I heard one of the girls ask the other one, “Do you want to go play somewhere else?”
I had to save my boy. (Again…it was the college bar scene all over again.)
“Is he bothering you guys,” I asked one of the girls with a smile as I walked up.
“Yes!” Her voice was snarky and rude.
“All you have to do is tell him that you’re not interested in playing with him right now or find him another activity. I do it all the time.”
My humor was lost on these two girls. They had their faces buried in their handheld gaming consoles.
Little Miss Snarky looked up at Crash and said, “We don’t want to play with you!”
I just ignored her cheeky tone and turned my attention to Crash. “Come on, buddy – they don’t want to play. Let’s go watch the football game…”
One of the 8 year olds looked up from her GameBoy and hissed and screamed something that I didn’t understand. I blinked slowly and turned my gaze towards her. I ran my index finger intentionally down my face – from my forehead to my chin.
“Are you talking to me?”
“No! I’m talking to HIM!”
She looked back down at her GameBoy. (Confession: I thought to myself, “If you’re playing Tetris…I. Would. Crush. You.”)
Unlike my college buddies, Crash was un-phased by the rejection and the girls’ rudeness. Not me. But I tried to be the bigger person. (I know… I know … because I was the bigger person. Blah!)
So I grabbed Crash’s hand and we started walking away.
Little Miss GameBoy stopped me before I took my second step. She turned her handheld device around and said, “Look what I did?”
I raised my eyebrows, smiled sarcastically and said in a barely-audile whisper, “I don’t care.”
– – –
So why in the world did I feel inclined to share this quasi-embarrassing narrative?
Answer: Because I can’t stop thinking about it. Since we walked away from Little Miss Snarky and Little Miss GameBoy, I’ve been consumed with pressing issues about daddyhood and raising a child.