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Pre-School Good-Bye

D: Are you guys excited?
C/F: Yes.
D: What are you excited about?

Pause.

F: Because we are going to see Papa at home?
D: Um, no, guys, today was your last day of pre-school. Tomorrow you start at Almond School.
C: We had cupcakes today.
D: I know. Papa brought them for you.
F: And everybody had…er, uh, eh, two cupcakes, one for Fisher and one for Cory.
D: They did? I bet the other kids’ parents’ love us tonight. (Pause.) But, are you excited to start kindergarten?

Pause.

C: The sunflowers for Miss Michelle were pretty.
D: I know. Papa made those bouquets for you to give to your teachers.
F: That was so nice of us, right, Daddy?
D: Right. (Pause.) And tomorrow you get to start kindergarten. That’s so exciting.

Pause.

C: Daddy, can I have the lollipop when I get home?
D (exasperated): I don’t know about that, Cory. That’s a lot a bit of sugar after a cupcake day. But, I want to know if you are looking forward to going to Almond School tomorrow…?
F: Yes, Daddy.
C: Yes. (Pause.) That means that we get to play on the playground at Almond School, right? I like to play on that playground.

The morning will tell whether all this toddler nonchalance persists through a drop-off surrounded by 20 times as many kids and 40 times the chaos, for a day that involves more than simply playing on the playground of what will now be their school for the next eight-ish years…

Showing Us His Worthies

Laying down “two minutes” before bed…

D (singing): What will this day be like?
F (interrupting): Daddy, what’s confidence?

D: Hmmmm, that’s a tough one, Fisher. (Pause.) You have confidence when you feel like you can do something, even when you might not be able to. (Pause.) Like, when you get ready to hit a tennis ball…you might miss it because, you know, you sometimes miss it, everyone misses the ball sometimes, but you step up to the line anyway and tell Daddy that you are ready because you are going to try and you have confidence that you can hit the ball, that you are going to hit the ball. You believe in yourself.
C: Do I have confidence, Daddy?
D: Yes, Cory. Sometimes you have a lot of confidence. You step up to the line and whacka-whacka, Sharapova-style. That’s confidence.

Daddy can feel her smile in the dark room.

D (singing): What will this day be like?
C/F (in unison): I wonder.
D: What will my future be?
C/F: I wonder!

Before Daddy can get there…

F: It could be so exciting to be out in the world, to be free
My heart should be wild and rejoicy
So, what’s the matter with me?

I am always long for adventures
To do things I never dare
And here I am facing adventures
Then, why am I so scared?

A captain with seven children
What’s so fear-suh about that?
I must stop all these doubts and these worries…

Pause.

D: If I don’t, I just know…
F: If I don’t, I just know I’ll turn back
I must dream of things I am seeking
I am seeking the courage I lack

The courage to surf and some reli-un
Face my mistakes without defiance
Show them my worthies
And while I show them
I’ll…show…me

So, let them bring on all their problems
I’ll do better than my best
I have confidence they’ll put me to the test
But they’ll have to agree I have confidence in me

Somehow I will impress them
I will be fun but kind
And all those children (Sigh.) Heaven bless them!
They will look up to me and mind me

With each step I am more certain
Everything will turn out fine
I have confidence the world can all be mine
They’ll have to agree I have confidence in me

Strength doesn’t lie in numbers
Strength doesn’t lie in wells
Strength lies in nights of peace fill slumber
When you wake up…WAKE UP!

All I trust I give my heart to
All I trust becomes my own
I have confidence in confidence alone
Besides which you see I have confidence in me…

C: Daddy, did Fisher just sing that whole song?
D (laughing, hugging Fisher): Yes, he did, Cory! He certainly did.

With confidence.