Cara's been home for a week, chock full of stories about her summer work with 42 inner city high school students. The experience was such an eye opener for her that she dropped her education minor. She could write a book on this summer's adventures. Lord knows, her stories had the rest of us rolling on the floor as we heard them.
Having a chunk of free time on her hands is intolerable to Cara. So she is headed to Dylan's house in Fleetwood. The two of them are flying out tomorrow morning for San Francisco. Why? Because they've never been. Because they're bored.
I got up with Tim. He leaves the house at 5:30 to get to work by 7. Since Cara does not get up until later (the girl still believes that 9:30 is the 'butt crack of dawn') I had some time to myself. I wandered about in blogland and managed to scare the bejeebers out of myself. Someone had made a reference to the Beaumont children of Adelaide. Having no idea what they were speaking of, I looked it up. Three siblings disappeared from a crowded Adelaide beach in 1966. Just vanished. Never to be heard from again. I tried to imagine what happened to the parents of those children. How does your life move past such a point? The parents seem to be just as completely gone as their children. I found nothing on them at all.
And my mind began to wander as my mind is wont to do. I think of my own children, as the children that they were. I think of them during all their days. From their first breaths. Learning to walk. Learning to talk. First day of school. Elementary school. High school. Graduation. The pictures flicker through my mind, and I am happy to have them. Lucky to have them. I spent the quiet time reading and thinking, and roaming about in my mind. Last night, when Cara and I had gone shopping for Dylan's birthday, she asked, "When you were my age, were you so crazy busy that you did not feel like you were able to realize that you had fun until after the fact?" Interesting. I thought. "I guess, maybe," I said. And she said, "I feel bad sometimes, because when I get to thinking about things, looking back, I'll realize that I really enjoyed something that I didn't really take the time to enjoy while I was actually doing it."
This morning, looking back, I felt like I really understood what she meant.
Cara finally got up, and we read the paper this morning, and had bagels with our cappuccino. We talked. About this and that. Nothing special, nothing in particular.
Her bags were waiting at the door.
And now she's left.