Photo of The Day

Photo of the Day: Tree Swings and Fatherhood

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chloe tree swing 001

Anyone else out there going through graduation this year? This girl will be in the graduating class of 2025, and today the charter school she attends held a 30-minute kindergarten graduation with bright blue gowns and caps and all. She got to keep the tassel, too. The kids shared the things they learned this year including, but not limited to, these factoids:

  • Antarctica is the coldest place on earth
  • 17 minus 32 is negative 15
  • Vincent Van Goh painted Starry Starry Night
  • The equator is an imaginary line that goes around the center of the planet
  • Earth is the third planet from the sun
  • How to draw a self-portrait
  • Uno, dos, tres, quatro, cinco, seis . . .
  • How to read and write

It's crazy. My daughter is learning a billion things during the day when we're not together. But I have what you see in this photo going for me. On an autumn evening while setting up camp during a trip, my wife chopped tomatoes, green onions and jalapeños and crushed avocado for her hand-made guacamole. We cracked open a pair of cold Negra Modelos. And one hefty tree offered me just one good low branch that I lassoed with a length of webbing, tied off around the trunk, and then made a loop just the right size for my daughter to slip into for a ride. I pushed her until the sun went down and that smile never left her face. She thought I was her hero.

This morning among the commotion of getting out the door to go to the graduation ceremony, she stood at the end of the kitchen counter. She looked so tall. "Are you standing on your tip toes?" I asked.

"No." She said it and drilled her blue eyes into my face.

"Well, you look so big today that I think you're moving out and into your own apartment, never to need me again. Tell me you will always need me."

"I will always need you," she said.

Thank God.


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