Friday, October 05, 2018

summoning the future

I watch you sleeping
My weary heart rises up on wings
I hear your laughter
Something deep down inside me sings
Way down here in the land of cotton
You were born on a rainy day
Since then, sweet things long forgotten
They just keep flooding back my way
ready for kindergarten.
"Annabel" ~ Don Henley
in the category, "we knew this would happen, but..." 

it's college application time at our house.

because our daughter is smart and motivated and a high achiever, the mechanics of this process should be pretty straightforward: she'll apply to a handful of universities and have choices of where to enroll.

and, if this last year of high school resembles the first three, there's a good chance she'll land an academic scholarship of some sort. (full disclosure: she inherited the academic achievement gene from her mother.)

within a few months she'll be off on her own to study...something. somewhere. she's not sure what, mind you, or where, but that's fine. the important thing is, she's given herself all the options in the world.

in the meantime, our mailbox fills daily with salutations from some of the best institutions of higher learning in the US.
it was long (long) ago, but i still remember the feeling of leaving home for college: elation. whatever the obverse of that feeling is (anxious apprehensive disconcerted disquieted distressed perturbed uneasy unsettled), i have it now, and it's hurting my stomach.

primarily, i suppose, because i don't want her to go. but underlying that, i don't want her to go out into the world in its current incarnation~~unsupportive of women at best and unsafe for them at worst.

ready for anything.
like all children, all women, she deserves better.
ambivalence aside, she's as prepared as she's going to be. we've done what we could toward that goal, and she's been mentored by strong women her entire life. 

she's emotionally intelligent, resolute, and relentless as a honey badger.

she can take care of herself, certainly...but she also has a gift for taking care of others.

i won't presume to say she's going to go out and change the world. but i do know that somewhere, someday she'll at least make a a world that desperately needs to be different.
our morning rituals are comforting in their routine. i make espresso shots, which she turns into an iced latte concoction (even on cold, rainy days). she makes toast while i feed the dogs and get them ready for their walk.

one of the cats jumps up to the kitchen sink and waits for someone to turn on the faucet, so she can drink like a civilized person.

the girl sips her coffee and eats her toast, until an alarm on her phone inevitably chimes. she quietly asks the cat if she's done, pats her on the head, and shuts off the water. she puts her dishes in the sink, picks up her backpacks (plural), and heads for the door.

"have a good day," one of us will say.
"you, too."
"love you."
"love you, too."

the door closes behind her, and the dogs look at me.

i look down and give them a nod. "time to go, dogs."

every day, like that. 

it's a good routine.
still, alarms gonna chime. doors gonna open, and close.

and while i'd prefer keep her near...

it's (nearly) time to let her go.
Oh child, I cannot tell you how the time just flies
But I have had my days of glory under sunny skies
These days, your bright dreams are all I want to see
Sleep tight, Annabel
You can always count on me


Unknown said...

This is beautiful. I love your sweet girl and her daily routine will be missed by so many.

spaceneedl said...

Thank you, ma'am.