I am trying to be funny, to make everything humorous, and I think this is because I hesitate to admit how difficult all of this is. She is our youngest, our baby. I love and trust everything about her, her intelligence, her curiosity, her enthusiasm, her emotional capacity to empathize, to express her own ideas, feelings. She is capable, and more importantly, she is resilient. I know all of this, and also what our culture insists are the ideal things to do... to coax independence, self-reliance, to push them out into the world. I know all that, and I know this, too... it is an honor and a privilege to be her parent, to bear witness to her growth, her voice, her doubts, and revelations. I am in no hurry to rush this. Her life, all of my children's lives, are like marvelous novels, and I do not intend to re-write them or put calls into the editor, but neither can I put the books down, stop caring about the settings, the characters, the plot. I cannot help but wish to have more time, more space, to see how it will play out, to watch her choose a camp activity, to hear her impressions of archery, night hikes, camp food, to catch the details I know will not come out in her retelling, the highlight reel. In my defense, because I distinguish my love and curiosity from obsession and hovering: It's not about stalking her... it's just that I really miss her. I love to see her happy, I love to hear her laughter, to know when she's tired, or short, or insightful. She's such a compelling story.
I have been happy to love every stage of my children's growing up. Infancy, toddler years, betweens, teens... all of it. So, here we are, on the brink of new points of view, new kinds of stories... ones all her own, with parts hidden, and parts she will tell in great detail. And I will love this, too. And I hope that everything we packed, everything we've held up to her, and wished for her, I hope it's enough for a week at camp. And... and I hope that she sees, too, that she has her own resources, her own strengths, her own wishes, that can carry and sustain her, that get her through this week, and all the rest of her long, marvelous story.
With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.