Saturday, May 26, 2007

Everything is Connected

Readers of my blog will recognize today's title as the phrase that I try to drum into the brains of my ninth grade world history students. Readers of Cynthia's blog may recognize that today's entry is inspired by her.

To start with, yesterday Cynthia wrote about a fall that left her stumbling around in pain and grateful for her phenomenal weight loss. I responded in kind by falling up some concrete steps (those damn flip flops!) at work later in the day. I was en route to proctor an AP exam for a student who had been ill last week, so I made a detour to the school nurse and spent most of the exam sitting with my legs stretched in front of me, ice packs on my right knee and left shin. I came home late in the afternoon and proceded to exchange my thunderstorm-precluded walk for laundry, dishes, and various other chores until about 6:00, when I collapsed in a shaking heap at the top of the basement stairs, my left upper shin suddenly swollen into a tight but rather expansive circle of burning misery. So much for going out to the movies with the Lovely Daughter, who spent rest of the evening bringing me large ice packs.

I then spent most of this morning lying around, surfing old blog entries and talking things over with the Lovely Daughter. As I looked back through the past three Mays of blogs, I was struck by how much of my life is intertwined with hers. Three years ago we were spending the night with a longtime and dear online friend in Rochester, visiting the University of Same, in preparation for the college application process. Two years ago I was photographing her activities at the Animal Protective League to help her out with the Powerpoint she was producing as her senior project presentation. A year ago we were down in the cemetery, looking for the Fox Family. And this year we stretched out on my bed, talking over her year and her plans for Prague next spring. She was disappointed to learn that my plans for seminary will prevent us from visiting her there, a reminder to me that Big Life Changes have unanticipated ripple effects. I have been required to note, many times over in the past few weeks, that a "yes" to one choice means an inevitable "no" to others. One obsession pushes others away.

And then she bounced back and brought in her laptop to show me the various websites she has located in the course of her research on the topic of summer jobs in England. I moaned and said, "I won't see you for six months!" She kept clicking and then she looked up and said, "Mom, are you really going to be one of those moms who objects to me staying abroad for the summer?"

"No," I said."

"That's my mom!" she grinned. "The mom who always says, 'Go!' "

And so we talked about parenting philosophies, and the importance of exploring the world, and spending time in other states and countries, and what a pleasure it would be to have her best friend from Oregon spend a few days here before they leave for Prague, and how she could connect with her North Carolina camp counselor friends in England, and whether I could find a really, really cheap ticket to somewhere in the Czech Republic, and whether she could find a Czech class or tutor somewhere around here this summer.

And I did not mind at all that I had banged up my leg and that it was raining outside and that I did not have the slightest desire to move from the bed.


more cows than people said...

your relationship with your daughter sounds so sacred and blessed. prague is my favorite city in the world... she will have a marvelous experience there, i'm sure of it! and it is a major bummer that your seminary journey will prevent you from joining her over there. perhaps you can both go together on a celebratory trip when you graduate from seminary with honors!

may you heal quickly and well from your fall.

Presbyterian Gal said...

Your poor leg!! That's just nasty. What a sweetie your daughter is to keep you in ice. You're gonna have to swing a ticket to Prague. It's considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Carol said...

Lovely lovely post about your lovely relationship with your Lovely Daughter! Sorry to hear that your leg isn't quite so lovely right now. Hoping it heals quickly and that you can figure a way to get to hook or by crook.

Cynthia said...

Sorry that the klutziness is catching, but what a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. It's hard to imagine going six months without seeing your daughter, but giving her the opportunity to go and grow is such a gift. And Prague...oh, no words. Feel better soon.

Anonymous said...

o.K. 1st: I am jealous that you have rain and we do not.

I have had similar talks with my daughters and know how precious they are. you sound like a great mom.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your leg. (I am also klutzy, walking around with a humongous hematoma on left shin. Blaming the bi-focals.)

Blessings on your trip -

Kathryn said...

I recognize one of those May pictures. Well all of them from the blog but one of them from here. I hope your leg feels better by now and you are back to walking.

I suspect that you will find a way to get to Prague. Smart girl to recognize how lucky she is to have a mom who says "Go!".