What’s Next

August 15, 2019 I helped Maggie move into her new apartment.

We walked around the corner so she could show me the high school she’ll soon be teaching in.

We walked around the neighborhood. There’s a Trader Joes a block away. A Walgreen across the street from that. An urgent-care.

She’ll be fine.

We went to lunch.

She walked me back to the car and we said goodbye.

And with that, she begins her new life.

And with that, I begin mine.

I remember holding her for the first time exactly twenty-two years ago one month from today.

September 15, 1997 when the caregiver from the orphanage placed her in my arms.

Her Gotcha-Day.

And every day since then has been preparing for her independence.

The first day Kim and I left her at Kim’s parents’ house.

The first day we left her at my parents’ house.

The first day we left her to go out for the night – to a baseball game.

The first time we left her for more than one day while we went to Toronto.

The first day of pre-school. Of Kindergarten. Of Middle School. Of High School. Of College.

Letting her go to camp. To Europe. To visit her boyfriend.

This is different.

This isn’t, “we’ll see you when we pick you up” at the end of the night. After school. After your trip. At the end of the semester.

Kim, you should have seen her.

She has so much of you.

She is a strong, smart, accomplished woman who has so much ahead of her.

I can’t wait to see what she does and yet I say that without expectation or pressure.

She knows me better than anyone in the world now that you’re gone.

She calls me out on things I need to be called out on and she listens even when she pretends not to.

I saw so much more of the world through your eyes than I did through mine alone. I would love to have spent the time in the car talking to you about our daughter and all that she’s become.

I look at Maggie and see three people. I see the parts that are Kim. I see the parts that are me. I see the parts that are so much more than either of us. The parts that are Maggie.

I cross the George Washington Bridge and drive through a corner of New Jersey and most of the way across the top of Pennsylvania before stopping for the night.

I have to pick up Annabelle in the morning.

I eat at a truck stop diner that is supposed to have great fried chicken at their buffet. That’s what their sign says. It turns out to be true. And as I eat a second plate full I get a text.

It’s Maggie.

She’s already set up her internet.

She went to the store and got the box and hooked it up herself.

She sends a picture of her apartment. It’s beginning to come together.

And with that, I know she’ll be fine in her new life.

And with that, I know I’ll be fine in mine.

 

Published in: on August 15, 2019 at 8:51 pm  Comments (4)