This is 40.

It's fivehundredeightyfour steps from here to there. From home to school, a path beaten, a father's best job these days. Under leaf showers and over frost hard sod we tread through every season, bringing then younger, taking them wiser, our precious cargo.

On our backs, the sacks, the math and the drama, tangled vowels and spilled colours. Secret symbols inked on hands, mystery rips in jeans, gloves abandoned. We carry sneezes and chills, ferrying lunches and tempers every step is forward to a future that none of us travellers know. This is their wondertime. These years, before the clouds of responsibility. This fragile wonderbubble of infinite possibility is what we carry inside, what we nurture and nudge down the path every morning.

These are moments in days, in weeks that become months in years that become our life. This is what 40 is. This is the gift we wrap every day.