Already wanting to do it your way
Below is what I wrote for you last year, a year that turned out to be a very good one, the year you became a real teacher and earned not only the job you wanted so badly but also the recognition you deserve.
In re-reading last year's post, I see that both nothing and everything have changed as you continue on your journey and your itinerary unfolds. I'm very very proud (not to mention relieved) that you've become the woman you were destined to be and I look forward to seeing what comes next.
Here's what I said a year ago today:
If I were with you this morning, I’d make blueberry muffins from a mix and I’d put a birthday candle in yours, worrying as always that the melting candle just might be carcinogenic, one of many reasons why there wouldn’t be twenty-eight of them.
People told me a late-in-life child would keep me young. I’m not sure if that was true for me with you, but you have certainly kept me going, sometimes from worry, sometimes from necessity, often from your sheer Mollyness, your quirkiness, your dark and dorky humor, your carnsarned cussedness.
Through your more than a modicum of spills and struggles, you’ve managed to come to an understanding of yourself and others that I think is unusual for someone as young as you. Although you don’t always trust enough to share this quiet discernment, at just the right moment, under the right circumstances, you offer up something so deep and insightful it leaves me slack jawed in wonderment.
People love you because you’ve been there, because you ask so little and offer so much: a sturdy shoulder, a big heart, a from-the-gut laugh, and a thoughtful answer to afraid-to-ask questions. Your sense of irony comes from your sincere belief that, if it fell apart, it was because you didn't screw it on tight enough. And, while that may not be all that healthy for you, it sure makes the rest of us relax a bit. There’s such a comfort in world-worn you.
You worry that, at twenty-eight, you should be further ensconced in your adult life, more firmly rooted in knowing where you’re going and when. I’m afraid I feel the same way at sixty-two, so I won’t be much help in figuring that out. I do believe there’s a road map for your journey and an itinerary, both of which will come into your sight-line as you travel your life. What a surprise that your heart’s own true love turned out to be with kids in high school, the very place that almost did you in. Talk about courage, and perhaps a perverse form of payback.
You, my youngest child, share with me a love of reading. In fact, you’re so pitiful and geeky that you profess the home-made Harry Potter coasters to be the best present you’ve ever received, and I’m pitiful and geeky enough to believe you. We also now share a profession and a desire to pass on what little knowledge we have to anyone who will sit long enough to listen (and especially to those who won’t). I’ll never forget that your first full-time teaching job came to you at the same moment I was leaving my final one.
The baton has been passed and the circle is unbroken.