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“Okay, Grant, let’s give this one more try…come on, son, stay still…eh, whatever, good enough.”
For the past five minutes, he’d been trying to wet down Grant’s eternal bed-head. The kid had a natural cowlick that was impossible to tame, especially when his father didn’t actually own a comb. Pressing Grant’s brown locks down with his hands just didn’t seem to do the trick.
Normally, he was fine with both he and Grant leaving the house looking borderline homeless. After all, who the hell did they have to impress?
But today was not a normal day. He and Grant were getting geared up for their dual interview with Great Hills Academy. There was immense pressure for both of them to nail it today. The difference is that he was feeling the pressure, and Grant had no clue what was going on.
His father spun him around and took stock of him.
Alright, the cowlick isn’t great, but he looks fire in that little polo and khakis. Looks like a future president. Or at least a kid who won’t be an idiot.
“Alright, bud, lets go, you ready to crush this interview?”
Grant looked puzzled “But won’t crushing it break it?”
“No, crushing in this sense means…you know what? Nevermind, you ready to do good at this interview?”
Grant broke into a smile “YEAH!” Raising his hands over his head, he walked out the door and towards their car.
His father got him strapped in his car seat, then made his way to the driver’s side door. Before he hopped in, he checked his phone and noticed a pleasant surprise in the form of a text message.
Jane: Hey! Good luck on that school interview you were telling me about, that’s today right? If so, hope it goes well for you and your little guy!
Well hot damn, she actually listened to all my nervous chatter that night.
His date with Jane, set up by Leo and Sarah three nights prior, had gone fairly well by his standards. She was moving to San Antonio in the middle of the summer for her new elementary school teaching gig, and thanks to his friends he was the first guy she knew in the city.
Jane remembering about their interview might have no more significance towards how she felt about him other than her just being a nice person, but it still made him feel good to get the text.
However, there wasn’t much time to dwell on the warm fuzzy feeling he got from the text. It was gametime. They pulled into the Great Hills parking lot bumping the theme to Space Jam.
As they strode to the school’s gated entrance, they were greeted by an older woman with a kind face, sporting a forest green “Great Hills” t-shirt.
“You two must be our visitors today! Hi, I’m Mrs. Megan.”
Grant beat his father to speaking first. “Hi I’m Grant, do you have big cement trucks here?” Trucks had been his thing lately.
Mrs. Megan gave him a warm smile. “I’m sure we have some fun toy trucks in Mrs. Winters’ class, do you want to come see with me?”
“Of course, I do!” replied Grant, and off they went on the cement walkway towards an attractive house-like building a hundred yards away.
He was instantly enthralled with the campus. The buildings were modern but comforting, and the landscape was beautifully done. The grass, in particular, really spoke to his inner-dad.
My Lord, this shit looks like Fenway Park. I wonder if I can find a way to learn the groundskeeper’s magic.
Mrs. Megan gently knocked on the door of their destination building, then quietly opened it up. They were greeted in the doorway by empty tables and packed cubbies, as the class was in an opposite corner on a rainbow-colored rug sitting quietly as the teacher, presumably Mrs. Winters, read them a book.
Normally a social butterfly, Grant instinctively clutched the side of his father’s pants, openly nervous over this new environment.
His father, however, was absolutely impressed. The two-dozen or so children were all wearing either white, blue, or gray shirts adorned with the “Great Hills” logo, and all seemed to be enraptured by the story being read to them. Taking stock of the well-behaved and decently diverse class, he instantly knew that’s what he wanted for Grant. It was easy to dream on these kids as doctors, or lawyers, with one becoming a “Bro, you need to hop on this new crypto ASAP, come be a millionaire with me” as well, because not every group is perfect.
The classroom was well lit and spaced; there was clearly much more area for open activity and learning than there were desks. Grant might be hesitant, but this place was money.
The story wrapped up, and the children each went off to separate activities. Mrs. Winters approached them.
“Debra Winters, nice to meet you,” she said, extending her hand and delivering a firm handshake, “And what’s your name young man?” she continued.
Still clutching his father’s pants, Grant mumbled, “My name is Maui, Demigod of the Wind and Sea.”
Sweet Jesus, we’ve got to stop watching so much Moana.
His father nudged him gently and Grant changed tune, “My name is Grant.”
Mrs. Winters stuck out a hand towards him as well. “It’s very nice to meet you, Grant.”
Mrs. Winters looked to be north of 50, possessing a pleasing compromise of kindness and sternness. She had the appeal of someone who was clearly compassionate and understanding but had also won a few bare-knuckle fights back in her day. He knew this woman was exactly what Grant needed.
She crouched down to address Grant eye-to-eye. “Grant, would you like to come do some activities and playing with me?”
Grant replied, “Oh, no, thank you.”
I know you’re nervous, kid, but you need to step your game up. You’re being JR Smith, I need a LeBron.
Mrs. Winters smiled kindly. “Well take a look around, do you see anything you like?” She waved her arm slowly, as to reveal the entire classroom to his eyes.
Grant got on his tip-toes for some reason, scanning the room. His eyes passed over various sets of learning toys, blocks, and art supplies until he found it.
Smiling, Mrs. Winters said, “Let’s go take a look at it.”
She led Grant towards the bulldozer, clutching his still-nervous hand.
His father watched, then turned as Mrs. Megan tapped him on the shoulder.
“Okay, he should be fine now. She’s just going to do some exercises with him to gauge his current aptitude. Why don’t you come back to the main office with me now to meet the head of our program, so we can chat about you and Grant.”
If you’re enjoying following “PostGrad Single Dad,” be sure to go listen to the latest episode of “The DadGum Podcast,” live on Grandex Labs.