22 April 2010

That could be us...

I'm sitting in my booth at Minerva's Pizza reading my book. Waiting for my Greek Salad.

"We need to sit at a bigger booth," I hear a woman's voice saying and a child responding, "Why, Mommy?"

"Because Daddy will be here soon and we won't fit in that small booth. Come over here. We can sit in this booth by the window so we can watch for Daddy to come down the street."


The woman is about my age. Long brown hair, black sweater set, black & white skirt, black tights and black Dansko patent leather clogs. Her little daughter is probably about 5. Hair pulled up into braided pigtails, pink sweater, little jean skirt, multicolored tights, and sneakers.

Very, very adorable.

And very likely adopted.

Her daughter is black.

They're obviously regulars here at Minerva's. The waitress greets them with a friendly "the usual?" but tonight they order something different - Greek salad and a large spinach calzone.

The little girl has a coloring book, but is reading it rather than coloring in it. And chattering away.

"Daddy" turns out to be about my age and white as well, confirming my original thought that their daughter must be adopted. He is wearing a corduroy blazer, button down shirt and jeans. Looks like a professor.

"Hey there, Buddy," he says to his daughter.

"Hi, Daddy!"

The man greets his wife and then returns his attention to his daughter, "You were a little sad this morning when I left for work. I wanted to find out a little more about that."

The little girl shrugs.

"Are you feeling better now?"

The little girl nods and starts chattering away to him.

As they work they're way through dinner and conversation about their days, I find myself openly staring at them. I know I shouldn't be staring, but I can't seem to help myself...hoping fervently that if the parents notice my rude behavior that they also notice the huge smile on my face and forgive me just a little.

I just keep thinking as I watch them, "That could be Chris and I in a few years. That could be us."

And then I wonder if they are used to getting stared at in restaurants and at the mall and at the movies and wherever they go as a family. I imagine they must get stared at a lot. Then I also wonder how many of those stares are hostile and rude, versus the stares of people like me who think that their daughter is such a cutie-pie and that they make a nice looking family. I'm hoping that the friendly stares outweigh the hostile ones...but somehow I can't help but think...

A little part of me wants to approach their table to ask them all about their adoption experience and tell them all about ours so far, but, of course, that would be totally inappropriate. They're out to enjoy dinner together, not to hash through their adoption experience with a total stranger.

So I simply try not to stare, but fail (also inappropriate on my part) and enjoy watching them.

That could be us in a few years.

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