I have come here to see my kid. Air BNB blankets gathered around my legs, the windows cracked. The time different, the sun not yet come up, all my things in the closet or my carry-on. It is different not seeing her, as it always is, but you notice the differences more the longer you go without seeing each other. It is the thing about elderly relatives and the shock of that first acknowledgment, we’re older now, the reunion. How Covid made it more pronounced. And with kids, how quickly they shed the kid parts and become grown-ups. But they are still your kids.
I have come here to see my kid at the prep school where they open their classrooms every few months so parents can look inside. Can talk to the teachers, roam the grounds, sign their kids out. I have met all her teachers, the program director, even the nurse, but today, a day they are planning workshops, I have opted instead to play hookie, to blow it all off in favor of spending the day with my kid, Lily. To peruse a box canyon in the northwest corner of Zion National Park. It is a splendid fall day on the seam of summer and the phone is paired to the rental car and we hardly have the time to scratch the surface of all the music we have to share. We will pack a lunch and walk the canyon out and back. We will talk about god knows what. There will be long stretches where we don’t talk in fact and it will not seem weird one bit. It is about the time together, the time that is not real but imagined, the being in each other’s proximity, perhaps a celebration of our own being by proximity to our loved ones. And maybe that is true family, a kind of garden, a plot of beautiful things we can tend to, to watch it grow.
I have rewatched the John Hughes film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and understand now its quiet wisdom. That I should wake to life’s offerings because it goes by quick.
Look outside! Quick!