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Monday, July 26, 2010

If you want it, then you better put a lid on it

It is so good to know I can still embarrass my kid.

She didn't find my riff amusing. I thought it was hilarious, clever, and instructional. If you're going to leave Qdoba with a fresh refill of Diet Coke, you'd better put a lid on it.

But who will laugh at my stupid humor in a month? She'll be gone.

One month from today Annika and I leave for college. That is, of course, to say, Annika and I will leave for New York City where she will enter New York University and I will help her move into her dorm on Washington Square and then get back on an airplane, alone, and come home.

One month. One more month. But -- lame, trite, momism alert: it was last week that she slept through her baptism and the party afterward, and six days ago that she and her pre-school pals Kristin and Meredith and Collette spent an hour simply staring at giraffes as they ate, at the Brookfield Zoo. And five days ago that she and Julia crossed the bridge by the dandelion fountain on the Naperville Riverwalk to become full-fledged Brownies, and later that same day she so convinced her first grade teacher that she was an adopted Indian Princess that I got a phone call that night, "is Annika adopted?"

And four days ago she was astonished by this contraption our neighbor, Linda, pulled out, and asked, "what's an iron?" A few hours later she and Kari played horses for hours in our backyard, soon after receiving a special gift from cousin Noah who gave her a huge wrapped package and whispered to her, "It's for you! It's a surprise! It's a horse!"

Three days ago she wore a cap and gown and graduated from grade school, then went off to spend every morning of middle school, before classes started walking the hallways with Emily. Later that afternoon she went off to Dublin and London and Edinburgh and the villages of Wales with her children's choir, came home and in the evening hosted her bestest friends for her first annual Bastille Day LBD dinner.

Two days ago she went to New York City for the first time, fell in love with it, and went back again before lunch, on her own for a week to visit and confirm her passion for the city and for NYU. It's not just one thing but everything, the people, the energy, the architecture, the walking, the subway, the diversity, the craziness, the concentration of intellectual and creative and world-class resources.

Yesterday she left no doubt about her leadership skills and commitments, even being singled out for her leadership role within her 2200 member student body at Arapaho by the principal at commencement, and made certain she would never have to take another math class with her AP score. By evening she hosted 3415 friends at her graduation party (or did it only seem that many) and spent the summer on a nonstop farewell social whirl while fitting in enough hours of work to stash away enough cash to keep her in gelatto this fall.

Now, today, she's been back to NYU for orientation and registered for classes, including one about the relevance of Marxism today, and met dozens of future classmates, got her first choice of dorms, and made plans with a new friend to spend a day at the US Open. Soon she will celebrate her 18th birthday with yet another party, say farewell to driving for the next 9 months, get on an airplane and fly off to NYC to pick up all the stuff ordered in advance from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and join the 65,000 other freshmen descending upon New York City (and close environs) this fall.

Who will mock my jokes, give me fashion advice, leave the drivers' seat four feet back from my usual setting and the car radio on a station that plays music that isn't, offer nuggets of profound wisdom as she moves through the house, and keep the garage door going up and down on a frequent basis with her coming and going and going and going?

One month from today. I have a feeling it will come in about four minutes.

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