Monday, October 10, 2005

The things you miss

It's amazing how little things show you how many big things you miss.

The first time I started seeing my daughter as a young woman rather than a little girl was when I saw a photograph her grandmother sent to me after my daughter's young nephew was born a couple of years ago. He was just a few days after my daughter's 12th birthday. It hadn't been too terribly long since I had seen my daughter, but the young woman I saw holding her newborn nephew wasn't the girl I had seen just before Christmas.

Staring back from the photograph was a young woman in braces.

Last night I had dinner with my daughter, her mom and her mom's partner. And the first thing I noticed when we met outside the restaurant were that my daughter's braces were gone.

In just a few short weeks since I had seen her, her appearance had changed again. I asked her over dinner when she got the braces off.

"It was like a month ago," she said, like it was already old news and not worthy of mentioning anymore.

A month ago? Has it been a month since I've seen my daughter? I live 50 miles away for Christ sake. I moved here so I would be here for stuff, see her more often. Has it really been that long since I've seen her?

I was trying to do the math in my head. It wasn't quite a month since I'd seen her, but pretty close. Between my weekend schedule and theirs we just hadn't been together in a few weeks. We've chatted online, but no face-to-face time.

A lot of the dinner conversation focused on my daughter's school, which her mother is not a fan of. She is back in a public school this year after two years in a private school. Her mom wants to send her to a private high school now, at least beginning next year, if not at midyear. I'm certainly supportive of the idea of sending her to a private high school, but the money certainly gives me pause. The one they are looking at costs $8,000 a year, or $800 a month spread out over 10 months, plus books and other miscellaneous expenses. I pay less than $800 a month for rent, electricity and cable.

Not that you can really put a price tag on your child's education or safety, and not that I would have to pay the entire bill, but that's still a big chunk of cash. I might have to get rid of cable, Internet, cell phone and hope my 10-year-old truck will hold out a few more years and need no major repairs.

That and it would be nice if my daughter and her family actually came to see where I live sometime before I have to downsize my apartment. So much for dreams of buying a house.

Well, unless that lottery win comes through. No one won Saturday, so Wednesday's drawing will be an insane $240 million or something like that.

That would certainly help cover private school costs. Can't pay for missing milestones like braces going on or coming off, seeing your daughter go off to her first high school homecoming dance (which she did Saturday night).

Little things add up. And big things pile on.

1 comment:

Brat said...

I can't even imagine how hard it is to be even 40 miles apart from your daughter, but I do know that you can't blame yourself. You gave up everything to move closer to her. Enjoy the times you have together and don't dwell on the times that you can't be there.

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