Well, it’s two days before V’s next driving test. Naturally, she wanted to practice parallel
parking again. We got up early this
morning and headed to the testing station before it got crowded.
“OK,” I said confidently.
“You’ve got this.”
“Could you be the cone?”
“The cone. So I know
where I’m going.”
Wait, I thought I was the cheerleader. “Which cone?”
She pointed and I got out of the car. I smiled at a man who was instructing his
granddaughter. “It’s very hard,” he
said, giving me a nod.
“Yes.” I planted
myself in the northwest corner of the parking spot and waited.
Playing a cone doesn’t take much effort. I let my mind wander. I watched the girl and her grandfather. I watched the clouds pass by overhead. I watched a feral cat and her kitten,
sleeping in the Sunday morning quiet of the parking lot. I watched V circle around and line up the
car, Squints sitting in the back seat, not whittling
The cat woke and cleaned herself. Then she stood and walked away, leaving her
V executed a perfect parking job and then, upon exiting the
spot, nearly ran over my toes.
Yeah, playing a cone doesn’t take much effort. But you do have to know when to leap out of
Filibuster is spending the weekend at some wilderness camp on the
top of a mountain. Sponsored by her
college, this is definitely an outdoorsy type of event with flashlights and cabins
and industrial-strength bug spray. No
Facebook. No cell phone. No texting.
No IMing. There is, in fact, no
communication with the outside world.
What to do?
Well, they’ve got a fifty foot tower there, for daring
people to jump off of and all sorts of ropes for climbing to dizzying heights. The experience is supposed to encourage
teamwork and getting out of your element.
It’s also, I suppose, a way to break parents into the idea that in just
three short weeks, their child will be leaving home, more or less permanently.
“Do you think it will be fun, Mom?”
“I hope so.”
Filibuster isn’t one to jump from fifty foot towers.
“Do you think I’ll be OK?”
“Yes.” I hope so.
“Well, even if I don’t jump, at least we’ll have s’mores,”
And watching V swing around for another parking job, I
wondered whether Filibuster jumped, or if she kept her feet planted on the ground,
cheering on those who dared to try it while she stood and watched. And I wondered, if she didn’t try, whether
those s’mores tasted bittersweet in her mouth.
And I wished, as V pulled up beside me and put the car into reverse,
that I could go back in time and tell Filibuster this before she left: There’s
a time for planting your feet firmly on the ground and there’s a time for
V executed another perfect parking job and pulled out cleanly. The kitten woke from its nap and ran after
its mother. I smiled and got in the car
and together, V, Squints and I headed home.
I can't wait to hear about Filibuster's time.
This was linked to Yeah, write.
Labels: Creative non-fiction, Raising Children