Lisa and I had particular interest in the situation in Japan, seeing as Brigid was scheduled to attend school there starting this April. Purdue put that kibosh on that, to much gnashing of teeth from Brigid’s side of things. But now that’s changed, and our little girl is planning to spend the next three and a half months in Tokyo. Of course, she’s not really so little any more–but, you get the point.
We’re both pretty excited for her. She’s stepping off into a dream that she’s held for a very long time. I can still remember her down in the basement, hunched over her computer as an eight or ten-year-old kid trying to teach herself how to speak Japanese. I can remember discussions about dream jobs and about Japanese history (about which I’m nearly vacant). I remember the tone of her voice as she told us that she was changing her major from Engineering to a Linguistics, Japanese, Asian History triple. She has always wanted to understand Japan.
Will this country fulfill her expectations? Will the trip be magical?
I have no clue. The logical being inside me says her trip will reveal problems she never knew existed as well as feed her passion–that’s the way life is, you know? It’s very rare for any experience that does not include eating lots of brownies or ice cream to be perfect, and even then you have to spend more time on the treadmill. Logical lives are like that. No free lunches. Totally sucks.
So she’s spending a couple days here as she prepares for departure. Things are going about as we would expect, given our family dynamic. Lisa is on Brigid to plan her trip in deeper depth than Brigid is wont to do. Brigid listens to what we say, then does whatever the heck she thinks works for her. I kibbutz from the sideline enough to take all sides but ensure myself the wheels aren’t falling off, and I drive us to Ritters. It turns out that Brigid will take just a suitcase and a carry-on. Perhaps we’ll ship her a few things later, but I doubt it matters much. Sometimes I forget what it’s like to be so young and to be able to travel that light. But she is, and she can. So she will. And Lisa and I will both be fine in the end–that’s how I generally think about things–examining them from the end backward. It’s how I read magazines most of the time, too, though I have no idea how that fits into this idea at all. But, anyway, ten years from now it won’t matter that Brigid took one suitcase or ten to Japan. All that will matter is the Japan part. All that will matter is that she made it to the place she’s always wanted to go.
I’m smiling a big smile as I write that sentence. My daughter is going somewhere she’s always wanted to go. The idea makes me feel big inside. Going somewhere she’s always wanted to go. Doing something she’s always wanted to do. And, therefore, being someone she’s always wanted to be.
Pretty damned cool.