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.