“When my daughter was in kindergarten, there was another little kid in her class named DJ. They weren’t particularly close, but they were aware of each other. During that year, my little girl’s mother and I met a lot of parents, including DJ’s parents, Dan and Debra. Debra was pleasant, and Dan was pleasant but reserved.
The following year, in first grade, there were several morning school festivities that we had to attend, and one morning my young girl’s mother was unable to attend, so it was only me. I had taken the morning off work, so I wasn’t in a rush to return. Because I was not in a hurry, I opted to purchase a newspaper and have breakfast at Denny’s before heading to work after the ceremony.
As I was reading the paper, I was completely unaware that Dan and Debra were in the booth next to me. ‘Hey, you’re Tiffy’s Dad,’ Dan remarked as he peered over at me and reached out. He’d noticed all of my Chicago Cubs and Bears bumper stickers.
Dan contacted me later that school year to ask if I wanted to join his fantasy baseball club, and I enthusiastically agreed. I gave him the money up front because it cost $40 to join, and he emailed me about the league.
He emailed me my team and even gave me a heads up on some up and coming Cubs players because I missed the draught.
I had a great time, but by the end of the year, I had not heard from him or heard anything about the league. I had a feeling something wasn’t right. I wasn’t concerned about the $40 or the fact that I was in first place at the time (well, I was a little concerned that I was in first place dammit!). I was more concerned about what had occurred. I was perplexed, but I never pursued the matter further.
Dan and Debra left the school district a few years later, and DJ was no longer in my little girl’s class. I assumed I wouldn’t hear from them again, but then Dan messaged me on Facebook, asking for my phone number.
I didn’t give it much thought at the time, but when he called, it was because he was having trouble and wanted someone to talk to.
We talked for a long time on the phone, and I told him how envious I was of his lovely wife and family. Personally, I had only one child and was in a bad relationship.
For a few years, I kept in touch with Dan on and off, and he looked to be improving. He told me about his family’s new home at one point, and everything seemed to be going well. This was the last of our frequent discussions, and both my daughter and his son were in middle school at the time. Since he was in first grade, I hadn’t seen his son.
I had also seen Dan at the school’s Daddy/Daughter dances during those elementary school years. It was time for us to catch up on things, and he was always very proud of and supportive of his daughters.
Although elementary school Daddy/Daughter dances are no longer held, the local Park District hosts an all-ages Daddy/Daughter dance. My little girl enjoys going to them, so when she was in eighth grade, we went and ran into Dan and his two young daughters. We saw them for the next two years and he was always very pleased.