I took Little Fish to her first dance on Friday. She is in fifth grade and it was the school's annual Middle School dance. I really wasn't sure how I felt about the whole thing, being a Dad and all that.
On the way over I asked how she was feeling and "excited" was the mode. She had decided to go with a bunch of her girlfriends. I drove up to the school and she got out of the car with an aloof wave of the hand over her shoulder and said, "Bye Dad." The unspoken dual messages of confidence and please-don't-embarrass-me-please-or-I-will-shrivel-up-and-die-on-the-spot were left hanging in the air. I drove off.
I went to pick her up and was unsure about what the pickup arrangement was. There were a bunch of parents in the parking lot, parked and trying not to look awkward or worried. I suspected they looked just like I did. I decided to walk into the school and there was another bunch of parents I knew and we started talking. Little Fish appeared at my side in moments and said, "Can we go?"
We walked to the car. I was attempting to be nonchalant, or rather to act that way, as being would have been impossible. "How was the dance?"
"Did you dance a lot?"
"How were the boys?" I tried to sneak the question in with an easy-breezy lightness.
"The boys are idiots."
Still my Little Fish.