Wednesday, April 14, 2010


She was so tiny. And she had the kind of cute that could melt the coldest steel in seconds. My heart doubled in size to take her in and keep her safe and protected. She was my little girl and I was her daddy.

And then she was in high school. (Yeah, I know, right?)

I liked to tell myself that she still needed my protection, but we had raised her to be strong and independent and she practiced what we preached. She had brains and beauty and was equally able to run with the best of crowds as well as the worst of crowds, and still remain true to herself.

And then the Vice Principal called. I needed to go down to the school because “my little girl” had been in a fight with some guy in the school cafeteria and she was facing expulsion for violating the zero tolerance rule about violence.

When I walked into the Vice Principal’s office, he looked as stern and no-nonsense as she did firm and no-bullsh*t. He explained that she had picked a fight with some kid in the lunch room. She half-whispered that that was not what happened.

She explained that one of the school’s bullies was picking on some defenseless kid. She stepped in the middle of it and told him to stop. He made the mistake of trying to shove her out of the way. She shoved back. Apparently with enough force that he went head over heels over the table.

We looked at each other, eye-to-eye and heart-to-heart.

“Did you start the fight?” I asked.

“No, dad,” she said, “I just ended it.”

“Okay. I believe you.”

I looked at the Vice Principal and flatly told him that I would not allow her to be expelled from school for defending some kid who was being bullied and shoving back at the bully who had tried to shove her. She had been raised to protect herself and others, when necessary, and that she had done the right thing.

He feebly attempted to argue the point, as if he too believed she was telling the truth, but the zero tolerance rule had to be enforced, blah, blah, blah.

He lost the argument.

She stayed in school.

And I drove back home, secretly admiring her strength and conviction to doing the right thing.

That’s my girl.

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