Some days dad misses the good stuff

The first day of school is Wednesday in our South Jersey town and the Little Girl will be making her second-grade debut with her mom.

The custody schedule is such that I am not the official on-duty parent on day one. I will make a cameo appearance, though, showing up at the classroom to give my daughter a hug and to shake the teacher’s hand.

I’ve bought all the school supplies and a bunch of clothes to get things going. But I’d also wanted to make her breakfast, brush her hair, and drive her to the building – then pick her up at day’s end and make some kind of ceremonial fuss. My mom would always bake a cake on the first day of school. I can’t bake, so I thought we’d get ice cream.

That’s not happening. Certainly, I can buy her ice cream another day. But I wanted to have been more a part of the first morning, and to have heard first-hand, as she settled into the back seat of the car after the final bell, how the day went, who is in her class, and what the teacher is like.

This is joint custody: Some days you’re lucky to catch the good stuff, other days you’re reduced to hearing about it by phone, later in the evening.

It is the way it is. That doesn’t mean I’ll ever get used to it.