I bent into low balance on the balls of my feet as I hugged The Boss. "Have a great day," I said to the space between ear and cheek, then I kissed her there for good measure. "Don't forget to give your school picture form to your teacher."
Even as I gave that parting message, I wasn't much concerned about my daughter's follow-through. Maybe she'd remember, maybe she wouldn't. She's three years old. Things have a way of working out whether one makes a formal declaration as to the presence of a $22 check in one's backpack or not.
The Boss turned away from me and walked toward the end of the hall, where her head teacher waited in greeting. Per classroom custom, The Boss extended her hand and the teacher shook it.
"Wait, I have something for you," The Boss said, bending with purpose over her kangaroo backback and pulling a folded sheet of paper from the pouch. Her confidence belied her age as she handed the paper to the teacher.
"Thank you," said Miss Kathy.
"Thanks!" chirped The Boss.
I had been watching the exchange from the foyer door. That girl in the quilted botton-down coat made me marvel. There seemed to be nothing of me in her--not the forgetfulness, not the social distance, not the awkward manners. Her teacher smiled down at her and then looked over at me with a wink of amusement at The Boss's grace and courtesy.
I acknowledged Miss Kathy with a shake of my head. In the smile and the sigh, I meant to say I don't know where she gets it, and, in the incredulity, she is a person all her own.