My 18 year old daughter was lucky enough to go on a "New York experience" school trip this past week with her DECA group. DECA is made up of kids who want to go into business and marketing related fields for their careers, which is what she is currently thinking about. I thought this would be a great experience for her, so even though I myself have never been to New York City (I don't think it counts that I flew in to JFK once, saw the Statue of Liberty from the air, and after landing was whisked off on a bus to Long Island, never to set foot in the actual city), I gathered up my money and paid for her to go. She is a young woman with stars in her eyes when it comes to big cities and nightlife.
The morning she left I was moody and cried a lot. At first I couldn't put my finger on it. It wasn't because I would miss her horribly or was sad to see her go. As a child of divorce, she has spent many days away from me, so the separation was not bothering me. In fact, I was looking forward to the welcome break from the loud music she blares from her room, the food she picks at in the fridge, and the messes she leaves around the house. As the morning went on I went to the bookstore to try to cheer myself up. What is this funk about? I figured it out in the aisles of the bookstore. I was feeling the reality that once she tastes the Big Apple, our small town in Colorado willl never be enough for her again. I know that she will come back with grandiose plans about living in New York. I just know it.
I haven't received a lot of texts from her. The first day when I texted her one too many times I guess, she sent me a text that said "Mom, I'm in NY, Stop texting me". So I stopped. A day went by with no communication. I refrained from contacting her and being the hovering mom. Then this morning I looked at my phone and saw that I missed a call from her. If you could see my face at the time, you would have seen my frown of disappointment that she had actually initiated contact and I missed it. So I sent a text, very nonchalant and non-demanding: "I saw I missed your call. Hope you are having a great time. Call when you get a chance." No mom verbage in it and very casual in a "not a big deal" sort of way.
A few minutes go by and I get a text from her with a picture message. It's the New York skyline and a caption that they are touring an advertising agency and this is the view she is looking at. Big buildings and grey sky. The view from my house is the Rocky Mountains and blue sky as far as the eye can see. Couldn't be further away from each other.
I send another text, just a little question. "Do you love New York?" I still manage to stay away from any demanding mother questions. Still staying nonchalant.
The text comes from her: "I am madly in love with this town. I'm looking at living in a loft in Times Square with a hot tub on the roof."
Do I know my daughter or what?
My reply: "Ok, just find Derek Jeter to marry you and pay for it."
Her reply to that: "Already done. Going to Vegas with him next weekend."
Looking forward to seeing her Sunday and hearing her amazing stories.