Last night, Daryl and I had a WONDERFUL dinner with our oldest daughter Ashley and her freshly linked (read: married in December of 2010) partner Quintin. Ashley texted me a few hours before my shift at work was over to meet them at the local P.F. Changs. I was very excited because I didn’t think Daryl and I would get a chance to see them before they left for their delayed “honeymoon.”
These two kids (who I sometimes refer to lovingly as “gypsies,”) are heading to Australia and New Zealand for about ten months of “eco-touring” at the Great Barrier Reef, Panda preserves and other various stops along the way. They plan on traveling around these destinations and living on sofas and in hostels and perhaps a small apartment and finding small jobs along the way to enjoy each other’s company and to experience parts of the world and cultures around them.
Over a fantastically prepared dinner, as they’re explaining to us, about how they found an “organization” that lists “sofas” and places to “crash” while traveling internationally, and the hazards of worrying about weight limits of packing luggage, I sort of glazed over a bit after my third “Plum Collins” cocktail as I had one of those moments like in the Steve Martin version of “Father of the Bride” where his adult daughter is talking to him but he sees her as the 6 or 7 year old child he remembers. I briefly think that she’s not old enough to fly on a plane halfway across the globe without a booster seat.
I wistfully wondered where this child went that I used to take for walks in parks as she picked up every rock, pinecone, feather and bug that we encountered along the way. Pockets bulging with trinkets and natural treasures of the day. I wonder why I didn’t just KEEP her on the playground swing as I watched her fine hair blowing wildly with each push to the sky. The kid just HAD to grow up.
I DO like her being grown up. I love her as my daughter, but I REALLY LIKE HER as an adult too. She’s an articulate, intelligent, well mannered, respectful woman, who loves her family, her husband and who revels in the world around her. What more could a parent wish for?
If you’d like to read about some of their journeys across the United States from the past few years and also glimpse at their recent nuptials as well as see what they’re up to when they get “down under,” take a look at http://faralongtheroad.com.