Friday, April 23, 2021

Happy birthday, Happiness

 I return to this completely ignored space to acknowledge my daughter's 17th birthday.  

Dear Darling Daughter,

Here we are again.

Another pandemic birthday.

This is not what you or anyone who has a spring birthday thought would happen when celebrations were squashed last year.  Your plans for a Sweet 16 party were dashed because we were still under stay-at-home orders.  We hoped by this time in 2021 it would be over, that we would be out and about and you could have the bash with twice the blast to make up for the missed milestone celebration.

But we aren't there yet.  And you are facing it with your humor, grace, intelligence and some grumbling.  I'd worry if you didn't grumble at least a bit.

The milestone you didn't miss this year, although was a few months delayed, was getting your driver's license. Yet even that was caught up in the first few days of the pandemic.  The day of your final driver's education class was the day the state shut-down and your class was in limbo.  The Registry of Motor Vehicles wasn't offering learner's permits or tests.  But you were able to finish your class via Zoom and take your permit test online at home - something that was only offered for a short time.  It seems so normal now but a year ago it was all weird and yet you handled it.

Then the actual driving - being behind the wheel - began.  

There were times you fought me, tooth and nail, when trying a new skill, a new situation or even driving when you were in a bad mood (because one has to drive in any mood). Even though you are normally fearless you were plagued with doubt about driving.  It is never fun to push you but when I know you can do something that is my job.

When you passed your driver's license, in a snow storm no less, earlier this year you subtly danced through the parking lot back to our car.  You celebrated and beamed.  You drove by yourself around that day and now drive yourself to the train station most days to get to school.  You've driven on highways, Storrow Drive and Boston streets.  There are still days you marvel that you can do this.  

I don't.  I know you can do the tough things.  You have a core of strength that you have barely tapped.

Not even a pandemic has scratched the surface. I know it.

I love you,