Blog block. I don’t know if that’s what I have or if that’s what I want to have. My own life is filled with secret goings ons that really have no place on the Internet. Either they are too boring or too confidential or just not appropriate for this forum.
My daughter is fast falling in love with Bangkok and out of love with us. By us I mean her hometown, her home family and her home life in America. “I don’t think I’ll be ready to come home in two and a half months Mom. Life is so simple here. Everyone I know I just met, met just in June and it is so much easier.”
“I know,” I told her. “I understand. No baggage. No history. Everything revolves around Bangkok and school. You all need each other so much that you overlook obstacles that might loom large at college. I do get it. Remember those discussions we had about going to college in your hometown? But you did it against my advice. And boy aren’t we glad?”
She doesn’t know that it’s not about wanting to stay in Bangkok. After all, everyone else is coming home too. I believe it’s that she finally realizes she is an adult. And she knows how to do that in Asia. She is self-reliant, orders her own dinners, buys her own necessities and manages her finances. Even if it all that means is she emails her father to transfer money into her account, she does have to know when it is running out.
“I just don’t know if I’ll want to come home in December. I guess so but it seems so fast.” She doesn’t know how fast it seems to me. One year we are standing in line at The Gap with some pink leggings size 2. They are on sale and I’m hoping that she will be able to wear them for two seasons. The boys are playing hide and seek under the turtlenecks. One trying to be really quiet and hidden. An earnest attempt at disappearing from us so that we will have to look and look to find him. The other trying to hang from the rack, swinging as hard as he can, hoping he can tip it over on his brother and the clerk that is stalking nearby, trying to re-establish some balance to the rack situated by the cashier who is taking her own sweet time to ring up our items. My daughter stands, oblivious to everyone but me, looking up with such adoration, sucking her thumb and telling me through the side of it that she wants to wear her new outfit to school tomorrow and wants to stay for lunch. Can she please?
And as usual, I say yes. Yes darling, of course. We’ll ask Tina if you can stay for lunch in your new outfit that we picked out together and we’re buying now while your brother is doing his best imitation of a orangatan. Suddenly shifting from hanging on the turtlenecks to loping out the front of the store and towards the food court. “Mom, I’m going to go buy a slurpy with my birthday money.” Never mind he was born independent. Managing his money and his schedule in the womb years before she was created.
Yes darling. You stand here and suck your thumb while I buy your pink stripes and when we get home we’ll make peanut butter sandwiches with hunks of grape jelly and put a juice box in a bag with a banana and a cookie. Then I’ll carry you to the Glen where you can swing and play with your miniature friends. I’ll write a note asking if you can stay for lunch with Garrett. He will give you another Slim Jim that I would so much rather you not eat. But you will because you love him almost as much as you love me.
I think she’s afraid if she comes home again she will be that little girl. The one standing so quietly beside me, sucking her thumb while I’m checking out her pink. No matter how much I miss her and want that to happen once more, we both know it never will. She just a little. Me with a whole whopping huge certainty that it’s over. For both of us. This time.
Once you start growing up you can never go back. Just ask Peter Pan. He built an entire village with small boys and a fairy in hopes that he could stay that way forever.
I don’t really want her to stay that way. I wouldn’t mind if she comes home, grows up and takes me to The Gap and buys me some pink leggings. I doubt if I’ll stand beside her sucking my thumb but I might. Just to annoy her and remind her that even as we walk into the future, I will never forget our past. Together.