November 23rd, 2008



When I walked my nephew to school last week, I saw an amusing sight. The kindergartners all line up by class on the sidewalk outside a specific door. Hovering around the line of children was an assortment of adults, who were waiting for the kids to go inside before they left.

As Will's class was called, suddenly a burly man in a denim jacket and work boots ran up to one of the little girls. "Oh wait, I forgot, you're suppose to take this!" He was holding a tiny plaid backpack maybe as big as his forearm. In his other hand, he clutched a large pink stuffed unicorn.

He handed her the backpack, and she ran inside with the other children. He remained behind, holding the unicorn by the scruff of its neck. One of the other guys standing around asked, "You're not going to let her bring the unicorn too?"

"Well, you know. First we were going to leave it at home. Then we were going to leave it in the car. Somehow she managed to bring it along, but she knows she can't have it inside...."

He walked off, carrying the pink unicorn. I caught his eye and smiled at him. "That's a nice unicorn."

He laughed. "I know, it goes with my shirt doesn't it?"

"Very pretty."

I was relaying this story to my brother later in the day, talking about having seen the daddies at the school. I explained how cute I'd found the incident, and how charming I found the idea of a big burly guy carrying a pink unicorn and a tiny plaid backpack for his little girl.

"But this probably isn't as big of a deal to you," I concluded. "After all you're around kids and daddies a lot more, so you see this sort of thing all the time."

He nodded solemnly. "Sometimes," he admitted, "I'm even the one holding the unicorn."