Next week I take my soon-to-be-teenage daughter for a week-long program at a Florida university that will hopefully feed her love of science and technology. At the very least, it should make use of her aptitude for the two. It could be the beginning of an ongoing relationship with a college that has multiple summer programs for middle and high school students who may be a good fit to eventually attend the university. But the closer we get to departure, the more my mind wanders away from the matter at hand.
This will be my second trip to Florida this year; the first was for the kung fu tournament in Fort Lauderdale back in February that I celebrated at length in this past post. It will also be the second since the trip to clean out my mother’s closet back in November of 2007, four months after she died.
We will be about twenty-five minutes from her old house, in a city where I spent a fair amount of time with mother before my daughter was born. The last time the whole family was there together, my girl was barely four years old. For her, this trip is mostly about the now. For me, it may be as much about memories as anything else.
I’ve entertained doing my best to stay in the now by having a good time with my girl when camp lets out for the day and auditing a local kung fu class while she’s occupied in the lab. But a good time with her would have to include trips to the beaches and piers she remembers almost as well as I do. It will require a little frolic in the past. And frankly, I’m a bit scared.
I’d rather not be reduced to a puddle by nostalgia. That would be incompatible with the well-honed image and attitude of rock-solid Mama Bear that my daughter sees in me – as I saw in my mother. Mom lost hers only days before the coma. I’ll be grateful to have mine hold up through the week.