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Donuts With Dad

Donuts with DadYesterday 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.

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 graviational 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. 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.

1.    Enhance the aforementioned alien theme, Pookie has drawn a flying saucer which has landed on my head.
2.    I’m sporting a flesh-toned yamaka.
3.    Pookie believes that I’m actually a volcano.
4.    Pookie’s imagining that I’ve recently endured a lobotomy.
5.    The circle is actually a halo, a symbolic representation of the angelic role I’ve played in Pookie’s life.
6.    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 insistance that I be a part of the festivities tells me something else about how she sees me.

It’s as her dad.

I love you, Pook.

Author: John Cave Osburne

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