I saw them at the corner of a busy intersection. A dark-haired man, in a blue business shirt, and a schoolboy in school uniform and hat. They caught my eye before I'd even reached the corner. The man was kneeling, smiling, with his arms wrapped around the boy, who in turn was tightly hugging back.
I was driving with the music turned up ridiculously loud, blasting my ears like a teenage hoon. I was buoyant - celebrating my escape from the clutches of domesticity, free of the demands of my children for an evening. And there they were, these two, child and man. My gaze was drawn to them, and I stared as I drove past; peered in the rear vision mirror when I had rounded the corner. They were still embracing.
As I continued, I wondered about the man - was he the boy's father? It had appeared so. I wondered what had prompted the hug. Was this a long-awaited reunion? Were they celebrating an achievement in the boy's life?
I was intrigued by their story, but something else about this scene had fascinated me. What had made me stare, and keep staring?
It was the kneeling. It was the fact that a grown man, dressed for work, at a busy intersection, cared so little what anyone else thought that he knelt and hugged his son. He couldn't care less if he attracted glances. He couldn't care less if the knees of his trousers got dirty. He didn't pat a shoulder, cuff the side of his boy's head, or simply smile. This man got down on his knees and gave his son his whole self. It was a beautiful sight.