Today at the park, there was a lone man sitting on a bench watching the kids swing. Something about him irked me. The baby swing was free so this was my chance to get Deaglan on.
It’s a terrific park but there is only one baby swing which means there is usually an informal line-up. Parents with kids around Deaglan’s age keep an eye out from wherever they are in the park in wait for it to free up.
There were a lot of parents and kids out, thanks to the balmy weather. But this man sitting alone facing the swings had no children with him, he wasn’t holding anyone’s sippy cup or hat, and wasn't even dressed for the park on a gorgeous spring day.
While I pushed the swing, I periodically looked to the other parents of swinging kids. A few of them also kept glancing over at this man. I don’t know how long he had been sitting there prior to Deaglan and me pulling up, but it was obvious that people were steering their children to other parts of the park.
What kind of grown man sits at a children’s park alone on a busy Saturday? The giddy mindset I’d had all morning vanished and was replaced with suspicion and anger. Is this guy a pervert? Aren’t we supposed to be warned about the release of pedophiles into our community??
Yes, I went all the way there.
My swirling thoughts were now so malignant that I considered approaching some of the other parents to ask if they too were leery of this lone man.
Just then a woman walked toward him and they embraced. I overheard bits of their conversation and apparently he worked at one of the car dealerships across the street and had taken off early to enjoy a nice walk in the park with his wife.
I never felt so ashamed in my life.