Same car. Same smorgasbord of items in the car. Same occupants. This time, however, they are pulling into the pre-school parking lot. It’s day two of three for the week. Day one’s drop-off ended in tears. Truthfully, it ended in adults acting a-fool in an effort to distract poor H- so that the tears would stop.
Car in mid-turn, he glimpsed the future and said, “Oh, H-.”
“I meant to tell you that I’d like it if you didn’t cry today,” he said. “Remember what we talked about? Instead of crying, how about we agree that you just say, ‘Daddy, I’d like one more hug’?”
“Uh, I think I might do what you said, daddy,” she said, referencing the crying.
“No, H-,” he bemoaned. “You can’t keep crying every day–even if you’re sad. You’re a big girl now-”
“I think I might do what you said, daddy,” she repeated. While strong and carrying surprising foreknowledge, her voice faltered just enough to indicate she really was getting nervous to leave his side.
The exit of the car was uneventful. They entered the room one after the other. He struck up a conversation with the teacher; H- walked towards her seat. He tried to say goodbye. She didn’t turn. He tried once more. She didn’t turn. He quickly scanned the faces of the others in the room. He was speaking out loud, wasn’t he? Then it hit him. Ignoring the pain can be easier than acknowledging it. Social grace told him it was time to exit the classroom. Now it seemed that the pre-game speech was a bit much. No, he thought, that’s not it. She must have just been distracted. Yeah, that’s it.
Being a Dad is awesome, isn’t it!!
Just wait until later in her life, I remember walking ahead of mom to soccer practice at one point so I wasn’t the nerdy kid walking with his mom. The irony of course is that mom is the only one I should have been with as she actual cares about me, while the other teammates are no longer anywhere to be found.