She grabbed her black cello case – that’s as tall as she is – and slung it over her shoulder. I walked a step or two ahead of her as we made our way to the car. When I pick her up from school she has a queue of stories to tell me about her day. But in the mornings she doesn’t say much, and I understand because I’m the same way.
Most nights I work or read well into the early morning hours. My mind seldom begins working before 10 am so getting up at 6 am to see my daughter off to orchestra practice means I’m still a bit groggy.
I toss out a number of breakfast options and let Luca decide what to eat now and what to take for lunch. Today I learned two bread ends make for a good sandwich but only if the crust side is turned inwards. I also learned that chili is not a breakfast option.
The hour we have together goes by quickly. There’s homework to tuck into folders which slips into binders that eventually makes its way into a backpack of a specific color. Four backpacks for four children made of four colors, and I’m still confused a month into the new school year.
With a few minutes to spare, we arrive at the bus stop where Luca reminds me which side of the road to park on. A light rain begins to fall. This is the time of year when the sun hibernates for months. It’s the dark and dreary stretch of Seattle weather locals tell outsiders about to keep them from moving here.
The bus makes its ways around the bend and stops a few feet from the car. As Luca makes her way out of the car, she leans towards me long enough that I can kiss her forehead but not so long that her fellow bus riders would notice.
When I returned home, I sat in the car in the driveway for a few minutes thinking about how no matter what else I accomplished today, nothing will be as important as the hour I spent with my daughter.