What I Learned By Taking My Daughter To Work

Norah was fighting doing her homework, so Mel started dropping her off at my work twice a week. I run a study hall for college athletes until 9 pm. Basically I’m one of the guys that tells D1 athletes to do their homework (I’m pretty popular).

If anyone was qualified to get a stubborn little girl to get her homework done, it was me. She was no where near as difficult as some of the football players I manage nightly.

But I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really happy about this arrangement for a few reasons.

First, I was irritated that she was putting up such a stink about a few math problems and spelling words. But mostly, I was worried about how I would manage running evening study hall with a bunch of rowdy student athletes while also managing to get my daughter to finish school work.

But here’s the thing, Mel was home twice a week with a feral preschooler, an immovable slug of a 10yo, and an 8yo little girl pitching a fit about every freaking school problem. She had her own grading to do, which made it even more stressful.

She hadn’t burned the house down… yet.

Norah has been coming to my work for several weeks, and I’ve started to better understand where she’s struggling in classes and why. She’s been telling me about friends at school, and boys, and what her favorite game is to play in PE. She knows her way around my office and the names of the students I work with.

And for me, it’s almost like she’s entered this world that everyone in my family knows about, but doesn’t really understand.

Sure, I have to hassle her when she’s not working. But I also get to take her to the vending machine downstairs once a night, and she acts like it’s a trip to Disneyland.

In so many ways, we’ve started to grow closer.

One evening, before we made the long walk to the parking lot from my office, Norah told me she forgot her rain coat, so I gave her mine. Her backpack and Queen Elsa doll all fit in there with room to spare. She looked like a college mascot in the massive thing, and we laughed most of the way about it.

We were almost to the car when I told her about how these late nights sometimes make me feel like I’m missing out on the family.

She didn’t respond, and I’m not sure if she understood.

Once we reached the car, I helped her out of the raincoat, and she jumped into my arms and said, “I just love going to work with you, Daddy.”

I laughed, and told her I felt the same. Then I said, “I’m not happy about your homework, but I’m pretty happy we get to spend this time together.”

She giggled. Then she asked if she could come visit me at work even if she didn’t have homework to do.

I smiled and said, “I’d love that.”

She giggled and got in the car.

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