|The Year of the Dragon|
From an educational standpoint, I find myself wondering sometimes: Will she be ready for college? Does she know how to do this? Have we covered that?
Mostly, I wonder if we will get in all those things we want to do as a family before our little unit is altered forever by her departure. We wanted to travel so much more than we have. That plan was thwarted by the economy. Still, we can't complain. We've driven to Florida and flown to California. We've been all over the mid-west by car. We wanted to take in so many more cultural events, another plan abated by finances. There are so many lessons I want her to learn.
See how I torture myself?
In reality, six years is as long as it is short (That made sense in my head). Now, she is more ready for some of those cultural events, the ones I would not have wanted to spend money on only to have her bored, uncomfortable, or fidgeting through the whole thing. When we travel at this point, she will take most of it in. It will change her in ways she can remember. The things we discuss now are the things that she will someday quote (to herself or aloud), either with eyes rolling or eyes sparkling.
And we will always have the hours snuggled up on the couch reading together, the long summer days spent playing freely on the beach and at the park, our marathon family bike rides, and family sing-alongs with her violin at the helm. Those memories, I believe, will someday mean more than all the trips and cultural events in the world.
I can see how disjointed this post has become. It is what happens to my soul when I look ahead to the next six years. Thoughts and plans and things I want to say flit about in my head like dragon flies, sometimes hitting the mark, sometimes escaping me.
With that, I wish my daughter a happy twelfth birthday with the following poem by Peggy Orenstein, as written on her blog -- words I wish I had written myself for this particular occasion: