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Vignette 4/52. Parenting and Sunrises.

“Another world, another day, another dawn. The early morning’s thinnest sliver of light appeared silently. Several billion trillion tons of super hot exploding hydrogen nuclei rose slowly above the horizon and managed to look small, cold, and slightly damp.

There is a moment in ever dawn when light floats, there is the possibility of magic. Creation holds its breath.”
― Douglas Adams, The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Today’s lazy vignette is all about the sunrise.

It’s lazy because I will link to several old blog posts to form a cut-and-paste collage of what I am trying to say. I will even post a photo even though I wasn’t going to post photos during this “vignette series.”

Allow a short preface: AJ is our 22 year old daughter. In March, we gave her 24 hours notice to pack her bags and get her butt on a flight to Costa Rica before the borders closed. She did it as per a previous agreement we had about getting on flights in emergency situations. Then she lived with us for seven months and now we are all in Toronto again. We will be leaving and she will be staying.

Ok now take a moment and read this blog post from 2014 to understand a little bit about AJ’s first journey into the world.

Next, read this post from 2015 on my journey with watching sunrises.

And you could also read this one, this one (which describes one of the moments that set the move to Costa Rica in motion subconsciously) , and this one (where sunrises truly saved my marriage). All from 2015.

2015 was a big year for me and sunrises. It was also the year that AJ came back from a month-long trip to Argentina and asked me, “What happened? Who are you?” Apparently, I wasn’t the same, in a good way. Even though her journeys at that time took her farther and farther away from home, my journeys took me deeper into myself. The sunrises were a key piece – my visual reminder of a do-over.

Thank God for do-overs.

For the last decade, the kids have been home with me and have been around me 24/7. I have nowhere to hide my bullshit, my contradictions, and my hypocrisies. They have seen and heard me at my worst and have seen me try to redeem myself and mend things in the most ungraceful ways. They have been and still are my biggest critics but also my biggest supporters and cheerleaders. They watch me cope with loss, grief, success, and the pandemic. And in 2015, they watched me commit to see the sunrise for 131 days straight.

I look at AJ now, as we prepare to leave her again which never gets easier, and I compare her to the young woman we were getting reacquainted with back in March. I watched her for seven months journeying deeper inside to reinvent herself and I see her today and ask, “What happened? Who are you?”

She’s not the same in a good way.

This is the view from AJ’s new home.

Since she has moved in, she hasn’t missed a sunrise yet.

I will remember how her (first) departure abroad threw me for a loop and how her return shifted my world right side up.  And I will remember our conversation today, the moment I saw her sun begin to rise brightly like I knew it always would.

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