I watched R take the AC into school today. We drove there, parked in the teachers carpark, and I kissed him goodbye for around 60 hours. He's home on Sunday evening.
Then R helped him down from the car, and they walked into school, AC with his book bag, his clothes bag, R with my work for my children. They talked all the way. AC's face was tilted up to R to hear what he was saying, R was tilted down to AC, and I just wished I had my camera for that photo, that picture of what parenting is.
It's talking, and listening.
It's loving your child enough to take them all the way to their classroom because the person who usually does it isn't there. It's loving your child enough to care about what they are saying, to give it value, and it means your child will always come and say what they need to, because they know you will listen.
I watched R straighten the back of AC's t-shirt, ruffle his hair, and carry on walking, and I was almost overwhelmed with the love I have for those two people. I was overwhelmed by how much they so clearly love each other. How much they have grown to love each other, and how much it has been a choice for both of them, and they've chosen to go the same way.
I was also amazed by how much they are alike. AC walks like R, not like his father. I can see why so many people are surprised when I say there is no biological connection between them - because they look enough alike to be father and son.
But R is not his biological father, but he's growing to be his daddy, and that's cool by all of us.
Like the quote says
"Any man can be a father, it takes someone special to be a Daddy."