pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: 65001

16 August 2015


My odometer
10 June 2015

So, here's a curiosity. My car turned over 65,000 miles on the daughter's last day of school, June 10.

Last week, I hit 66,000 miles.

I've driven 1,000 miles in two months? It must be all those circles the daughter and I are doing in service of driver training. But ONE THOUSAND MILES?

(Yeah, yeah, yeah, everyone else in California puts a thousand miles on their car in three days, but I make a sport out of not driving.)

For today's purposes, I was trying to remember when I started posting photos from my daily parking place picking up the daughter. The first one I found dated back to November 2012, but I'd already been driving to Santa Ana for a year by then. And I think I really started 6 months or so later, and not because of the parking place, but because the jacaranda trees were so pretty.

I've had some cause to think about the daughter's high school the last few days because I still get the weekly bulletins (no, I don't know why either), and they were talking about registration and the first day of school. This year, I don't have to spend a day working registration, and I don't have to worry about their first day of school.

Which feels weird (no more pencils, no more books), but not even remotely sad. I can't even muster nostalgia.

But the other thing that made me think of the daughter's high school was that today was the ribbon cutting for the new building that they spent all of last year building (and creating untoward chaos in a place that is already all about the chaos).

We took the time to go and tour the building (but skipped the actual ribbon cutting because...reasons), and it was nice but I did have to go and stand in the place where I used to park my car when I was at the school to work (because reasons). Strange shift of time and a nod to an old part of my life. It also felt foreign and new.

"I realized that I'm really going to miss this place!" the daughter said as we were leaving.

And I realized that I'm not. But I didn't say that.

The daughter's high school gave her an unparalleled education in many ways, and she had many incredible mentors and teachers. I am enormously grateful for all of that, which is why I gave the school extra money every year she attended, and two years of my time. But the utter weirdness of the current K-12 public school model that involves the parents way beyond what makes sense sends me up a tree. So I won't miss that though I can't fault the school for needing to adhere to state standards.

But I won't miss it.

I've already gotten a nice little letter from the daughter's university, with a lovely invitation to a meeting where I can meet with like-minded parents who wish to volunteer their time....

Straight into the circular file where a similar letter from the son's university went three years ago.

I. Am. Done.

We love and support our children, but they are grown ups now. Which isn't to say that we are throwing them to the wolves. I'm still actively kicking the son into action on the subject of internships, CVs and yes, a real job. I am helping the daughter with driving and resumes and finding a job. We raised them thoughtfully and with tremendous care, but we also raised them to be independent individuals. No, I'm not thrilled with every choice they make, but pushing them out of the nest and watching them take off is pretty incredible. And scary for all of us. But awesome.

And terrifying.

And so very freeing.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
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