Go home, dad; I got this

First day of second grade.

The Little Girl had her game face on, marching into school this morning with her mother, hugging me perfunctorily, then fast-walking to class.

I admired her style as she casually said hello to the new teacher, then told her how she likes her name pronounced.

My daughter then nodded at some acquaintances like a politician wanting to seem friendly without becoming embroiled in needless chitchat.

She took her seat toward the back of the room, and began digging into her brand-new book bag. Nothing says business like an “I-Carly” shoulder bag.

Glue sticks, pencils, crayons, notebooks. She filled her small hands with the fresh accoutrements of the second grade.

Then, both she and her teacher looked at me, smiling politely but dismissively. Why was I still in the doorway?

Well, let’s see: love, tenderness, worry, pride, wistfulness, melancholy.

I get it. I’m not needed here. Go kick some butt, sweetie.