We were camping at Mounds State Park last week and as is our custom, a fire was blazing in the fire pit as darkness crept onto the scene. Several fellows were sitting around the fire chewing the fat, Elvin adding a log now and then.
Eventually the legs, mine, needed to be unkinked so I stood and walked a few steps away from the fire. A young couple walked up with two little girls in tow. I am saying the man and woman were thirty or mighty near it, one way or the other. The kinder were nine and four. I established that by taking a wild, and correct, guess to the age of the older one, explained that I had been an elementary school principal for many years. The younger child extended her right hand toward me, thumb tucked, fingers upward.
The man had close-cropped sandy red hair and the genes that produced the coloration was passed to both his children, though being girls they wore their tresses quite long. The young lady had on a red t-shirt on which was emblazoned the words "I am a programmer." Thus I saw an opportunity to probe a bit. "I see that you write code for a living, but I have no clue as to the role of the mister here."
"Yes," she replied. "I am a full-time programmer, and also I am adjunct professor at our college where I teach coding."
The husband spoke up then and said, "I am a stay-at-home dad. I take care of the household, care for the kids, and I home-school Nadine. We are thinking we may send her to school this fall when Rosemary starts kindergarten."
"That is very interesting. Your arrangement seems to be working very well for you," a comment I made just before Nadine bumped her right arm against the fire ring. Well, that necessitated a trip to the cold water source and mother took care of that. They returned in a few minutes and the child bore a red mark along the wrist but she never wailed or whined. While they were gone Dad and I chatted generally about their home in Columbus, Ohio and the circumstances which brought them to this particular park at this very time.
"Come on girls. Bedtime now." Then to me, "Nice talking with you. Probably see you around tomorrow. Goodnight."