T. had a full day of play rehearsal yesterday, J. was working, and I spent many hours at the computer. Time disappears when I'm writing, once I get going on it. I don't like that fuzzy headed blur that I feel after all that time in front of the glowing screen, however.
Last night, T. and I hung out for a while in front of the fire, which was so nice. Sometimes I get a little wave of panic when I realize how soon these moments will be gone. Here I am, urging her to go out more often, initiate more social time with her school friends, even as she tells me that she's content. "I'm not resigned, I just accept the fact that if I don't go out, I know I'll be here with you, talking. I know it's not the usual thing, but I don't really care." What's the matter with me?
In fact, she did go out a little before 10 to visit her best friend's summer camp pals up at UMaine in Orono. I'm not too worried about that. She has spent enough time at her siblings' colleges to know what goes on, and will be there soon herself. I hate the driving part, however. There are never too many weeks that go by without a story in the news of some teenager in a car wreck, sometimes fatal. Even so - adolescent memories are short for caution. It is a precarious age.
I'm out of practice worrying about kids out late at night. It used to be a perpetual state. I did go to bed, but woke up just before 1am curfew -- no T. They were only about 5 minutes late, but the imagination can go far in 5 minutes. I know those worries are pointless, but can't always keep them at bay.
Before she left, I had T. read that Before I Die essay that I wrote about yesterday. I thought she'd be impressed by the fact that the writer is her age exactly. She was especially amazed by his desire for a great sorrow and his equanimity about death. We also talked about the giving of happiness part of his life goal, and how very adult and lovely it was - and limitless.
It was gratifying to share a somewhat weighty essay with my daughter on a Saturday evening and have her address it with such thoughtfulness. Once in a while, in the midst of a wonderful moment of loving my ever-growing friendship with this wonderful daughter, the moment is interrupted by an electric twinge of anticipatory grief at her departure. Have to squelch those and enjoy the present.
If the beauty of sunrise has taught me anything, it is that sublime moments may last only a brief moment, but that does not lessen their beauty or their impact. You carry them with you, knowing that there will be other great moments in the future - never exactly the same, but something akin to the same kind of suspended grace that will always be a treasure.