It’s a misty, raining, humid morning. The harbor is the color of ice but the water is warm in the shallows. Inside the house, the little clothes dryer is humming and making the air even more muggy because it vents right back into the laundry room.
Tomorrow morning, S will leave for a four-day school trip to the Auckland area. They will be guests at a marae; they will perform their songs and dances; they will have a lot of fun and stay up late and get up early. Her teacher has sent home a detailed itinerary and it is packed full of memories waiting to happen.
I am sewing name labels onto things that can’t be marked with a sharpie because they belong to the house, not us (things like towels and pillowcases). I am sorting clothes and trying to sort through the frustration of the morning interactions:
Which bags to pack?
The No Electronics and No Money rules being verbally countermanded by the teacher. (Oh, really?)
The preparing and excitement and nervousness of a big class trip isn’t just S’s burden, it’s mine too. Sending her off with the right things, the proper clothes, enough wisdom.
The way to send her off with the right things is to trust her. (Two bags are okay? Alright then, two bags: check. Money for the Auckland Market: check.)
The way to send her off with the proper clothes is to trust her. (Roll up the extra shirts and find a place for them somewhere in the bag.)
The way to send her off with enough wisdom is to not question her wisdom. Tell her you trust her; tell her how thoughtful and cheerful and kind and sensible she is. She really is, you know.
Tell her how very much you love her.