Sunday, April 06, 2008

The real birthday gift this year

I hope I'm not tempting fate by posting this, but this was the joy this birthday. Sure, the Facebook barrage was a delight. But the real joy came in this card. The front cartoon, an illustration of what's become a running theme within the family. And inside? A simple thank you. It may not seem like much to the rest of you, but we keep things simple and pared down in this family. No big celebrations or elaborate gifts. Just simple store-bought cards, chosen for their laugh value, filled with love communicated by a handwritten scrawl. For me, this year, from my daughter, (sure, ok, with a sweet add-on by my son that was actually a joke too in a really subtle way, but the card was really from my daughter), a real thank you. It meant everything.

I haven't written much about my daughter this year. Why? Because it's her life, not mine. She's already been cast into the public eye more than she's comfortable with. But it's been an incredible year. Tremendous growth on both our sides. Really enjoying this more adult space between us. Really engaged with who she is now, and who she's growing into being. The tightrope has been being there, but letting her be. I've had to provide a support system without mucking up her own growth by experience. It's been more time consuming than I would have figured. And at times, more nail biting. But over all, what pleasures me the most is the dynamic of trust between us, and how it keeps growing. I wasn't sure we'd have a good adult rapport. I pictured her off adventuring, not needing anything from me. It's been quite the contrary. Real, involved, grounding and full of love. Again, as Lou Reed called it, "The Great Adventure" continues.

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