Jane was an early walker. She was toddling around my house by nine months, and on first birthday as I prepared food for guests she stood on my dining room table jumping for the chandelier. Jane is an athlete, but she’s not overly competitive, she just wants to play.
Jane was happy in motion, and her motion has always taken her away from me. I’ve stood proud, watching my daughter assert her independence. We’ve given her roots and wings, she prefers the wings.
This summer Jane is going on a ten day canoeing, rock climbing and camping trip with Outward Bound. I remember my own first camping trips and how I felt alive in ways I’d never expected. I remember the smells and the sounds, the heat of the sun and the chill of the water. I remember not caring about anything except what was right in front of me. I’m excited for Jane to have all of that. For four of the days she is gone Alexander, too, will be away at camp. His will be less of an adventure, but to be fair he’s only nine.
Their independence both delights and terrifies me.