Last night, Gary and I went to Hickville to watch Bear’s class play, a musical about vacation…very timely with school letting out in just a few weeks! When Bear spotted us in the audience, he sprung into look-at-me mode, dramatically adjusting his sunglasses, waving at us with both hands. Just before the play started, Wolverine and Sunflower showed up and sat with us. (And by “sat with us”, I mean “crawled all over Gary”.)
Since the play was in the school cafeteria, we had pulled over some chairs to sit where we could see the stage. As Sunflower arranged her chair next to her daddy, she told Wolverine, “Oh, don’t put your chair in front of Shorty. She won’t be able to see,” then smiled proudly at me for zapping me with a short joke. When all four kids are taller than me, the short jokes are going to be relentless.
After the play, I was helping Gary to put the chairs back where we got them when a little fuzzy-haired blonde boy popped up behind me, looking at me expectantly, then held his arms out to me.
I honestly had no idea who he was. Wracking my brain, I bent down and hugged him, still trying to figure out who he was.
When I stood up, he cast his large eyes up at me, his expression fallen and hurt, and asked me in a small voice, “You don’t remember me?”
“No,” I admitted, and I tried to ask him his name to jog my memory, but the damage was done. He looked heartbroken. He didn’t give me a chance to finish my question or figure out who he was. He dropped his arms, turned, and ran across the cafeteria, away from me.
I felt horrible. I asked all the kids who he was, but they didn’t recognize him. Gary and the kids taunted me for crushing the little boy and tearing his heart out for not recognizing him, and the many years of therapy he is going to need to get over it. I tried to find him in the crowd leaving the cafeteria, but he had disappeared.
Maybe he mistook me for someone else. Maybe I had met him once at one of the kids’ games or school events and just didn’t recognize him. I wish he would have told me who he was or whose class he was in! I can’t get that crestfallen look on his face out of my head.
When Wolverine hugged me good-bye, he joked, “You don’t remember me?” I believe I will be hearing about that for quite some time.