Saturday, June 25, 2011

55 Days

Maybe every parent and homeschooler struggles with these fears and regrets. Even though Rose was accepted into college and has a pretty fat scholarship and several grants, I keep thinking of all the things we didn't do together, or I never taught her. These things are both personal and academic. Yes, it's not as if she's going to be gone forever the minute she gets her dorm-room key. But, this is the beginning of her growing up and being gone from me, and it makes me sentimental.

So this is the beginning of a few thoughts on the above. They may seem insignificant, but these are the things wake me up at night and keep me awake till morning.

We went fishing only once together. When she was about two, I took her to the lake behind my parents' house with a fishing pole. I soon realized I had lost the casting skills of my youth, being able to catch only pine straw submerged in two feet of water--about 10-15 feet away from us. I saw a snake squiggle around her foot, and I said, "Rose! Look! Catch it!" She twisted her body around quickly, but didn't catch it. The event lasted mere seconds, but in my memory it took much longer, because I have the regretful, ominous fear it could have been a baby water moccasin I was telling her to pick up. And if she had--OMGosh. I would have been upset about that.

Upon returning to my parents' house we walked into the den, and my dad was sitting in his favorite chair looking at Antiques Weekly. Rose immediately walked up to him with the worm container in her hands, "Papaw, look what we have!" Papaw said, "I know what you have--don't you run at me with those things, you're gonna..." And Rose did. She managed to hurl a whole pint of red worms onto my dad's belly and into the inner workings of his recliner. Even weeks later he was finding portions of crunchy, dry worms under the foot rest of the chair.

In my youth, I fished pretty often, so much so that I had an opinion about worms vs. crickets. I even had a story of the one "that got away" with a piece of hotdog and my hook. It could have been a log, but it was probably a huge fish.

So I wish Rose and I had fished more together.
And now I have 55 days to take her fishing a few more times before she goes away.