Dear Father on the Playground,
I know what some people think when they see you. They think - "Oh, it must be dad's day to babysit." Or, "Oh sweet, it's daddy duty." Or, "How nice, he's giving mom a break." I'll bet some people even say those things to you.
But you know what? I acknowledge you in a different way. You are not a babysitter. You are a parent, taking care of his children. I don't know you personally, so I don't know your schedule or your routines or the number of hours you are with your kids. Those things don't matter. What matters is that you are taking care of your children. And your children are lucky for that. Just as they are lucky for the care of their mother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sitters, or any other adults who are in turn lucky to have their charge.
You see, I used to think some of those things when my husband took care of my son. And perhaps worse, I'd get annoyed when things were not done my way. I'd see the phone out, or the TV on, and I'd nearly explode. My annoyance often overshadowed the moments spent building train tracks or going scooter shopping or teaching my son to draw. But I'm starting to see that children need lots of caregivers who do things in different ways, who encourage different parts of the children's development, who provide different models for ways to be an adult.
Have a great afternoon. It's a lovely day and I'm glad to be alongside a fellow parent.