I dropped my 4½ year old daughter, Caitlyn, off at pre-school today for the first time. My wife has always done it, so I didn’t give it much thought before now: I’m leaving my kid with strangers who don’t know she eats tomatoes like apples; she has to have sea salt on her sliced cucumbers; her first fish, Fishy Fish, died after six months and is now fertilizing our garden, which she thinks is “awesome”; can name all the planets, thanks to that Blue’s Clues tune (The sun’s a hot star, and mercury’s hot too…); loves going to my “church“; loves to watch MythBusters with me (Adam sure is silly, Dad)…
I didn’t know where the classroom was in the school, so Caitlyn led me around, taking her shoes off outside the room, digging for her sneakers in a box full of tiny kids’ sneakers, hanging her coat up on the little hanger, then running into the room without giving me a second glance.
She looks my way, wondering at the annoyance that’s calling her name.
“C’mere and give me a hug or something before I start crying.”
“Don’t cry, Dad”, she says as she runs over to me. “You won’t miss me because I’ll see you again after school.”