Quality Time


Today, teachers really did return to work. Which makes the scene I witnessed this morning all that much more touching and confusing.

As has happened frequently over the last eight weeks of the nationwide teachers' strike, this morning I watched a well-dressed professional man having a late breakfast with his daughter.

It is not a scene one comes across frequently in America, unless the man is in the middle of divorce proceedings and treating his daughter to breakfast before the soon to be life-scarring custody battle.

In fact, as I watched the daughter eventually strike up a conversation with her father, seemingly about how much she enjoyed cinnamon rolls, I couldn't help but shake my head at my own cynicism. It is something amazing that parents and children seem to just get ecstatic being around each other. Again, I've seen this constantly over the last eight weeks: children have been brought to work, or are hanging out at tables near their mothers or fathers. And, bad as the strike is, I honestly haven't seen the moment where the parents are upset to be around their kids.

Maybe this is a skewed eye. I interviewed a couple overworked mothers who moments before had been beaming with their children, but during the interview gave quotes like, "I don't think I could survive another week" (this given in week two) and "It's like I have three jobs all the time now."

But from the viewpoint of a single man afraid of the commitment in buying a plant, seeing actual human interaction with children has been a lesson.

Then there's the father and daughter from this morning. They walked out into the 9:30 sunrise hand in hand ready to conquer the world. Given the fact that the teachers' strike was over, I can only guess the father is a hopelessly unemployed loser who will replace the vast emptiness in his life by filling his daughter with baked goods and wandering the cold streets of Reykjavik while his daughter pines for an education and a balanced meal. BC [email protected]

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.