I never imagined how much I would love picking up the kids from school. It’s probably my favorite daily activity. I’m amazed at how Michael, still in first grade, skips home. Or how he runs up to his friends, shouting their names and hugging them. Sometimes I have to pick him up in the car. That’s not as much fun, particularly sitting in line waiting for him. Whenever I can, I walk. I need the exercise, and it’s great bonding time.
The thing that means the absolute world though is that he still wants to hold hands.
We were walking on one side of the street and he slipped his hand in mine. As we trekked down the block, he squeezed my hand and said, “I like holding your hand.”
He had my heart.
Then we crossed the street.
As we walked down the hill, closer to our home, one of his friends appeared around the corner. His hand quickly jerked from mine as he yelled “Hey, Gustavo!” They high-fived and Michael introduced himself, probably for the 17th time, to Gustavo’s older brother. They chatted a bit then they had to head up the alley. I’m not going to lie. It hurt a bit when he pulled his hand away. I figure one of these days will be the last time we hold hands.
Then as we got to the bottom of the hill, not 200 feet from our house, he slipped his hand back in mine and leaned his head into my arm. “I love you, Dad.”
It was a good day.