Lily makes a gun shape out of her hand and puts it to her mouth, pulls the trigger. This, on a Sunday in response to me reminding her that she needs to get ready for confirmation class, if she wants to be “confirmed.” Maybe you can just go to this class and then decide, I say. I’m not pressuring you (I’m not), and then I wonder if I’m being a bad parent by not encouraging her more. She wants me to take her to the mall to buy leggings and make-up, she looks depressed. Maybe that would help. But I say sorry, no way: it’s bleak outside and I’ve already been to the transfer station, and I’m going to get my ass kicked at work all week, all month. If work was like climbing Mount Rainier, then this is the stretch out of base camp, 2 AM on a rope, hurrying past sections with rock fall, past other hazards, most of them fatal. No, instead I aim to make a fire, maybe lay on the sofa and read, watch the rain, doze. I’m still a child, too. Still wanting to be tucked in and waited on, still needing somebody to tell me what to do.
The sun breaks and I wake, text Lily: I’ve had a change of heart, if you still want to go. She writes back YAY!!, I drag the razor across my neck and change my shirt. Once a parent, never a child again…not until the very end.