I walked the girls up to school this morning as I usually do. The sun was shining and the day hadn't yet heated to it's full radiance, but it held promise. We'd had a slow start to our day, as I am trying to get the girls to use their alarm clocks to wake themselves up and the experiment hasn't been successful yet. We'd rushed through breakfast, dressing, getting our teeth brushed, making lunches and finally getting out the door before the school bell. I had been pushing them all morning, but I had done it in a gentle manner this particular morning and felt I had done a good job at balancing between grumpy, overbearing dad and fun, playful dad.
I walked them all the way through the park behind our house and up the hill to the school, right to the door. When we were within 15 feet of the door, I stopped and let them continue on into this world that they experience without me. Even though things are rushed in the morning, I love the time that I spend with them. I'm watching these two young girls get older and more independent. Even though I want them to be able to handle themselves and do all the things that self-reliant people can do, I still cherish the times when they looked to me for all the answers and relied on me to provide their world and all its parts.
Just as Banana was about to cross the threshold into the school, she hesitated and turned back to me. Sheepishly, with her head down, she trotted back to me and gave me a hug. No words, just a hug, from a slightly self-conscious, soon-to-be-teenager.
Somehow, she knew I needed one. The hug said that she appreciated me, she appreciated that I came all the way up to the doors of the school, she appreciated that I'd woken her up gently and had sure her lunch was in her backpack. That one hug made my whole day better.