“I promise I won’t work myself into an early grave, Mom,” I said. “I have an angel to feed and then a script to finish.”
She nodded and attempted to tame my unruly, bronze mop on my head. I playfully swatted her hands away but she still fussed over my hair. Emma came back into the kitchen wearing her bright pink parka and pink Dora backpack on her shoulder. “Let’s go, Daddy.”
“Okay, angel,” I said as I scooped her up in my arms. She giggled and wrapped her arms around my neck. I kissed my mom on the cheek and carried my daughter out to the car. I put her in the booster seat in the backseat and we drove to my townhouse fifteen minutes from my parent’s home. I parked in the garage and we headed inside. Emma raced upstairs to her bedroom while I pulled out something to eat. I quickly made some stir fry while she worked on her homework, singing to Hannah Montana. I cringed at her musical selection. Jessica got her the CD on one of her whims.
“Emma! Come get dinner!”I called.
She bounced down the stairs and sat down at the dining room table. I made her plate and put it in front of her. “Thank you, Daddy,” she said.
“You’re welcome, sweet girl,” I said as I sat down next to her. “How was school today?”
“Good. We had a test in spelling,” she said quietly as she ate her dinner.
“How do you think you did?”
“Okay, I guess,” she shrugged. “Miss Denali went over the answers in class. I think I got nine out of ten right. Is that good, Daddy?”
“It’s very good, baby,” I said. “Better than me. I’m a horrible speller. I think I’m the reason why spell check was invented.”
“I know someone who spells worse than you, Daddy,” she said in a conspiratorial whisper.
“Who?” I asked, my eyes wide.
“This boy in my class, Jacob Black,” she replied knowingly. “I sit next to him and I don’t think he got any words right. Miss Denali always asks me to help Jacob. But, he doesn’t get it. He’s nice, though.”
“Perhaps Miss Denali is having you help Jacob because he’s struggling in school. You are so smart, baby,” I said as I tugged on her ponytail.
“Like you, Daddy,” she smiled crookedly. “You got a fancy degree in producting.”
“Conducting, sweet girl,” I laughed as I tweaked her nose. “And yes, I did get a fancy degree. Wouldn’t it be cool if I was a doctor like Papa and Uncle Emmett?”
“Would you be able to fix broken ankles or help sick people?” she asked, her eyes wide with curiosity.
“No. I’d be a doctor of music, baby,” I answered.
“Dr. Daddy!” she giggled.