The Possibilities Are Endless

July 1, 2006

Halcyon DaysIt was a quiet day here in Woodridge. I was up really early to say goodbye to Lynn. She left just after dawn to spend a few days with her boyfriend and his family in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It’s a four-hour trip, and she’ll be going down in her car with Will as navigator, but returning alone on Wednesday. And she’s not even returning here, but to her apartment in Millersville, a place she referred to the other day as “home” and then caught herself, afraid that she had offended me.

I wasn’t hurt, just a little wistful. I know how she feels. She’s between two worlds, still dependent on her parents for the bulk of her financial support but keeping house for the first time and working full time, arranging this time off by agreeing to work ten days without a break. She’s a young adult now, and I’m proud of her independence and her good sense. (And, truth be told, I’m proud of myself that I fostered it in her. When I was her age my mother became angry with me because I didn’t consult her and get her approval before I paid $20 of money I had earned on a genuine Navy pea coat from a surplus store.) But I do miss my tiny baby, and my toddler, and my preschooler, and, and, and . . . .

Maybe that’s what inspired me today to start cleaning up and restructuring the material that appeared on this site from 1999 through the first days of January this year. In the early days of my career as an “escribitionist”* I used a lot of very twee design elements (floral sidebars and cute divider lines), changed fonts and backgrounds and even the title of the journal at whim, and in general cast about for a look and feel I was comfortable with. I think I’ve found it with Markings.

So I decided to go back and collect all the old work into one WordPress volume. The result is The Silken Tent 1999-2005. I decided to start with all the essays posted in any July (and a few others that link from those posts). I’ll probably do August as well this month since I’ll be too otherwise occupied when I go to Vermont.

Going over all that old work was both interesting and instructive. I did some editing, making a few sentences more elegant and eliminating a lot of the dashes I used so liberally in the past, but I didn’t suppress anything nor change the content significantly. In a few places where an external link no longer worked I had to write around it. A lot of what I wrote was about Lynn, and the continuo of that song was then, as it is now, “she’s growing, she’s going, she’s almost gone.”

In July of 2000 I wrote about a shopping trip I took with Lynn. At one point that day I fell into conversation with the mother of an infant:

“I miss my tiny baby sometimes,” I told the new mother.

“We had to wait so long to have her that I want each day to last forever,” she said. “I’m afraid I can’t remember enough. This is the best thing I’ve ever done.”

“That’s exactly what I say, almost every day,” I said.

The title of this piece comes from the prompt for the first of July in A Writer’s Book of Days. The baby girl I saw at King of Prussia six years ago is probably ready to start school. I’m sure her mother thinks that guiding her daughter through life’s endless possibilities is still the best thing she’s ever done, as it continues to be for me.

*The word “escribitionist” was coined in 1999 by a journaller named Erin. The discussion list post in which it first appears has been preserved and put on display by Shmuel. The Wikipedia entry about the word gives some additional information.

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