Monday, August 22, 2011

"Tomorrow. Tomorrow. I Hate Ya. Tomorrow."

"You're only a day a-wayyy!"  [Apologies to the musical "Annie."]  But tomorrow I drive my no-longer-so-little girl to Pittsburgh so she can begin her university career.  And I gotta tell ya, it's killin' me.

Like I said on my Facebook page, I am of two minds.  On the one hand, I realize that it's time to push her out of the nest.  I am not entitled to keep her wonderfulness to myself.  It's her turn to go out into the world and get her education and make her difference.  And I am sure that she will.  While I am by no means the perfect parent, nor she the perfect daughter, I am awfully proud of the woman Olivia turned out to be.  She is a very caring person, and truly has a beautiful soul.  She can engage with just about anybody, of any generation.  Why I have not been beating away young suitors with a large stick is a mystery I will never be able to fathom.

And on the other hand, I so wish I could just keep her around for a while longer.

I will miss marching for gay rights with her as much as I will miss watching "Doctor Who" with her.  I will miss our guilty pleasure dinners together on the nights that my wife has to work.  (My wife has a dairy allergy, so all of our other meals are made cow-free.  Only when Olivia and I are alone together can we indulge in pizza or mac and cheese, or cook with cream.)

I am so glad that we got to perform together at our annual church talent show.  (Little sidebar -- I'm sure that when I use the phrase "church talent show," you have a mental image of something very amateurish and silly that might make it onto "America's Funniest Videos."  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We have a brilliantly talented congregation that includes many musicians, singers, and performers of all stripes.  Our singers could easily make a living in the performing arts.  Once a year we turn our church space into a cabaret -- complete with stage lighting and sound -- to raise scholarship money, and believe me when I say that it's a very hot ticket indeed.  Getting to sing a parody song I had written with Olivia at the "Kaleidoscope" show -- and getting generous applause from that bunch -- was truly a once-in-a-lifetime thrill.)

I will miss her voice.  I will miss how she smells.  I will miss watching her draw.  I will miss seeing her be passionate about her causes, whether they be gay rights, environmental responsibility, or atheism.  But most of all I will miss our conversations, no matter how serious or silly.  And boy, can they be silly!

I hope she has an absolutely brilliant experience this freshman year, as she takes her first tentative steps into the adult world.  But I am going to miss seeing her in the back seat.

Guess I'd better enjoy it while it lasts as we drive to the 'Burgh tomorrow morning.

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