Yesterday, my oldest daughter came home with the registration cards for her next year of Middle School. She clattered on about it as she walked in the door, barely pausing to take breath as she moved from one topic to the next.

She's at an age where all she wants is to tell me every detail of her day, and I have to remind myself it won't always last. (Or maybe it will! I never cut out my mother. She might not set me completely adrift!)


She showed me the schedule. I read it while she got dressed for ballet. I imagined I knew all the classes she most wanted to try out. Then she came back, and informed me I was completely wrong.

This daughter and I are the most similar. We look alike. We make the same faces when people annoy us. We read, and dance, and grow quiet and shy the same away. But we are not the same person. And as much as I tell myself this, and try not to be insane and think I understand everything about her, I forget.

She wants to take classes on birds. The coding class looks dull. All those history topics barely got a glance when she read the full descriptions. Creative Writing still happened to be her second choice. But band was up there. Band and that French Horn she warbles away on. I miss the piano, and try to convince her she should go back. But not too hard. The French Horn has become part of her, even if it's not a part of me.

I hold my two year old, who already yells at me to get her way, and I know it's been a long time coming. This separation. This otherness. And I don't resent it. I was never good at being so tightly tied as we were when she was a newborn. It's more natural to me. This thing with us being too people.

But it still surprises me. Despite all that.

I hope she loves learning about all those birds.


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