Yesterday was a big day for Pookie. Her second grade class was holding a special event–Donuts With Dads. It’s an annual thing, so I’ve known about it for a while, and I gotta say, I was more than a little curious about how it would go down. After all, her real dad lives right here in town, so his attendance was a given. But what about mine? I would have been okay if I’d been left out of the mix. Being a stepdad can be tough. And so can being a stepdaughter. Accordingly, I figured that on some level, this would be a difficult decision for her.
On Monday, Lovie broke the great news. Pookie wanted “both of her dads” to go. (Insert your California joke here.) I was obviously thrilled, but also knew that a certain degree of awkwardness would likely ensue. But as Pookie led her father and me around the classroom on the “scavenger hunt,” I was pleasantly surprised by how skillfully she was navigating the situation. It wasn’t awkward at all.
Until we went to the far wall to admire the cute drawings the class had made of their dads and I saw this soon-to-be-classic staring right back at me:
Egads! My eyes quickly scanned the entire wall until I found the drawing she had made of her biological father, and, well, it’s safe to say that I got the short end of the crayon.
Forget, for a moment, that the left side of my face is bulging out as if experiencing the gravitational pull of a large planet. And forget the fact fact, if you will, that there is a certain, though difficult-to-pinpoint, alien element to the depiction. And forget, also, the zipper on my fleece (I’m reasonably sure that’s what she was drawing) looks like Uncle Jed’s shotgun.
Take a gander at my head, more specifically my hair–and disregard the fact that I don’t have a crew cut and that my real hair is not six inches off my ears. Focus, instead at the very, very top of my hair.
There are only a handful of explanations.
To enhance the aforementioned alien theme, Pookie has drawn a flying saucer which has landed on my head.
I’m sporting a flesh-toned yamaka.
Pookie believes that I’m actually a volcano.
Pookie’s imagining that I’ve recently endured a lobotomy.
The circle is actually a halo, a symbolic representation of the angelic role I’ve played in Pookie’s life.
Or, most likely, that skin-toned circle that is surrounded by hair is Pookie’s artistic rendering of my bald spot.
I suppose that’s how she sees me. And I’m okay with that. Especially given the fact that her insistence that I be a part of the festivities tells me something else about how she sees me.
As her dad.
I love you, Pook.