Friday was a celebration of being at the top of the elementary school social structure.
Lamb gets her face painted at the ice cream social. The highlight for her was the 5th-grade splash device that allows people to pay a dollar to throw balls at a target to break balloons over fifth graders. She volunteered for that many times. Despite temperatures that only reached the low 60s, she had a ball.
A little cake walk--but she abandoned it after a couple minutes making this the first year ever she has not won something in this event's cake walk--and then it was off for something else. She even won a Red Wings poster for her big brother.
Since Mister and my Ex were working the fair, I got to escort Lamb. And it was a glorious day for her. In her joy of the day she didn't even worry about reaching out to hold my hand lest peers think less of her. And at one point she even reached up to kiss me on the cheek before dashing off to the next item on the agenda.
So yes, it was a great day.
This followed on the fifth grade trip to a local pool. I feared the worst but it turned out the pool was heated. So that was a grand time too, with Lamb making the most of the huge pool.
Despite lack of sleep after being up late playing Catan (and my performance in the second game was so awful that it will shame me for years to come) that sent me to bed by 10:30, the day was a huge success for Lamb. Soon, Lamb will be officially on to middle school where she will start over at the bottom of the social order. At least the climb to the top will be quicker--before starting over yet again. But she'll always be right there at the top for me (tied with Mister of course, but since he now looms over me the protective urge isn't quite as immediately felt).
It's a strange sense of pride, relief, love, and worry to reach this day. When she was born, I remember holding her in the hospital and worrying about her future. More than a decade later, she's a wonderful little girl who does well in school and is just a good person who is a pleasure to be around. And she's reached that first big hurdle, passing it with flying colors.
I'm a lucky dad. I just don't understand people who don't like or want children. I don't look down on them. It's a free country and surely there are many things one can do without children that are rewarding and enjoyable.
But at some level, I do feel sorry for them. All that worry and all those restrictions on what you can do are worth it when you get that brief little, heart-felt peck on the cheek.
As you watch them run off, of course. Parents can't remain at the top of their children's worlds forever, after all.