I read the lyrical descriptions in the mommy blogs about the things the little ones are doing and saying -- a garden of nna mmoy's 'Frances Fridays', for example or Under the Mad Hat's 'A Little Joy'. I smile and think 'Yeah, I remember that, that watching and recording with bemused delight.' But Younger Daughter came to stay with us overnight, and as the weekend wore on I realized that it never stops. I still watch her and delight in her, in the musical way she speaks, in the whirlwind she creates in my kitchen as she makes Sunday brunch, in the shine of sunlight on her hair, in her enthusiasm for life and adventure. I think it never stops, the wonder and pride and joy.
Not that the YD makes my life a bed of roses, or anything. She and a group of her friends went on a whitewater canoeing trip last month and she brought all the photos out to show me. It's one thing to see shots of her running rapids -- I know she's a strong swimmer and skilled paddler.
It's the waterfalls they were running that raised the hair on my head. What there is left of it. The YD is an adrenaline junkie; she has also enjoyed mountain climbing, rappelling out of a helicopter, bungee jumping and hiking in the African desert and has brought home photos and videos of every escapade for her parents to enjoy. When she decided to try parachuting, she took me along to photograph the event. And that's her leisure moments. Don't get me started on her job! Or the places she thinks make fine vacation destinations.
What is really odd is that I don't worry excessively about her physical safety. She was a sturdy, healthy child and has always shown both stamina and the ability to bounce back from reverses. She is, for all the wild things she does, knowlegeable and careful in planning, and she has the best equipment she can find. She's tough. And she's mine! And now that she's gone home, I guess I can go and put the kitchen in order.