I usually carry the girls’ backpacks on the days I walk them to school. Today, for the first time, as we got to the spot where we’d round the corner to the building, my oldest asked for her backpack.
“Is it embarrassing to be seen with your dad carrying your backpack?” I asked. I already knew the answer.
“Kind of,” my oldest replied.
Once she had her backpack in place, the oldest walked quickly away from her little sister and me. She was fifteen yards ahead of us by the time we got to the building. She didn’t look back at us as she went inside.
I put the other back pack on my youngest, and told her I loved her and to have a good day.
“See you dad,” she said, hustling to catch up with her big sister. I watched them walk into the school together.
There was something about this morning that encouraged me in the face of feeling a little bummed about being left behind. Yesterday, my wife and the oldest saw a capuchin monkey at the grocery store, and the oldest had been reading about the monkeys ever since. Before she hustled up ahead of me when we got to school, she’d taken the time to inform me that male capuchin monkeys sometimes cover themselves in urine to try and attract females. I am glad to be thought of as the kind of dad who would appreciate such information. I certainly do.