Tonight, I was out doing some grocery shopping with my daughter Jamie. As a three-year old, she’s chock full of energy and loves to have fun. As we were taking the groceries to the car, Jamie was riding in the cart.
Sometimes I’ll push the cart fast, which Jamie really loves. She’ll say “run Daddy, run!”, giggle, laugh, and shriek. Tonight, I pushed the cart fast, and she screamed with glee. I love making her laugh, making her happy, and doing fun and silly things with her. I know the days where I’m her favorite person in the whole wide world won’t last forever, so I try to take advantage of them.
So I loaded the groceries in the car, and took off pushing the cart down the row of the parking lot. We got down to the bottom of the lot, and Jamie screeched with delight followed by a stream of laughter. I pushed her back up to the top of the parking lot, down, and back up again. It was fun for both of us, and is a memory that I will treasure.
I told Jamie we were going to go one more time (every time we stopped, she’d say “do it again, Daddy!” – after she stopped shrieking and giggling). I pushed her clear down to the end, and we put the cart away. Jamie didn’t want to get out of the cart, so I grabbed her and put her over my shoulder and carried her back to the car – with her shrieking and laughing all the way.
Whenever Jamie was screaming with glee, there was one thought that was going through my head. Frankly, I didn’t really care if Jamie was being too loud – we were outside in a parking lot, not in a church or a store.
No, the concern I had over Jamie’s screaming was this: Jamie is adopted and looks nothing like me. I’m average looking – pasty white with blue eyes and straight, brown hair. She’s beautiful – medium complexion, radiant eyes, and dark, super curly hair.
My concern was that some well-meaning shopper would hear a little girl’s screams, not hear the joy in her voice, and assume that I was grabbing some kid out of a parking lot. If that had happened, it would not have been too much of a hassle – I’ve got dozens of pictures of her on my cellphone, thousands more on this computer, and I know she’d call me Daddy to anybody who asked.
While it might not have been a hassle, it definitely would have pissed me off. Not because somebody tried to do the right thing, but because this is a situation that wouldn’t likely happen if my daughter was biological or looked more like me.
And with plans to adopt a second daughter (who will likely have a darker complexion), the odds of this happening down the road only increase – which will be a small price to pay for two beautiful daughters.