Having so much to do to get ready for a cross-country move that I forget—for a few moments, on a couple of occasions—that there are breast cancer cells in my left breast doing things that I’d rather they not.
Hearing my 9-year-old daughter’s voice for the first time in two weeks, then seeing her run toward me full tilt to jump on me like a little monkey and give me a bone-crushing hug.
Seeing that 14 days at sleepaway camp has done the kids good.
Listening to my child brag that she has not brushed her hair in two weeks. Marveling that this does not really annoy me.
Concluding that my daughter Erin and her pals went to camp as elementary school kids, and returned preteens.
Listening to Lady Gaga—endlessly, by request—on the drive back to New York City. If you don’t take her too seriously, or analyze her too deeply, Lady Gaga is all right. Take the kids’ lead:
Going to church and having the assistant rector give us a send-off blessing. But we have one more Sunday! We get to say good-bye twice.
Seeing my daughter accept an incredibly thoughtful gift of books and videos from another parishioner who loves horses.
Having friends give us an amazing going-away party. Lemon squares. Wine. Beer. Shrimp gumbo. Gazpacho. Figs with prosciutto and cheese. Shrimp and cucumber on water crackers. Cheese. More lemon squares. More wine and beer. Kids distracted with chips, juice boxes and annoying movie about commando guinea pigs. God’s gift that we don’t have to see that movie in the theater.
Listening to embarrassing/touching speeches about how we will create a void when we go. Got a flash for them: their absence will create a void for us too.
Not having a hangover on Monday morning, a true miracle.
Seeing the joy in the kids’ faces as I dropped them at horseback riding day camp. If you enjoy the smell of a horse stall when it’s 100 degrees at 10 a.m., that’s love.
Too much: packing, paper, laundry, bags to pack, forms to fill out, filing, last minute gardening, shopping. Better busy than brooding.