I forgot to bring Evaline’s lunch to preschool today.

We were late: she didn’t want to wear her Vans, we had to choose between which stuffed animal to take… I had to find my shades… lots on our minds.

So I doubled back around 11 with her lunch and caught the kids fanning out onto the playground. Evaline was among 10 or so other “Starfish” (that’s her group name), some wearing paper crowns, some not. She was surprisingly nonchalant about my appearance. I thought that was cool.

I dropped off her turkey and cheddar half-sandwich, Capri Sun, and yogini (our code word for yogurt), then headed back out to cross the playground and hit the parking lot. I was going to play it cool too and avoid bothering the gathering pile of kids around the picnic table.

But parents are anything but cool.

So I walked over and gave her a big kiss. She didn’t resist, which was nice.

Then Rae, a willful 4-year old crony of hers, demanded a high five. With that came 9 more little raised hands looking for similar rewards. I slapped hands for a few seconds — Evaline’s hand last (sweet patient girl!) — and then headed for the gate.

As I swung around the multi-colored half-wall, I heard Evaline say gleefully, “That was my daddy.”

You can’t have a bad day after that.

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