Today the world opens, holds out her arms to my older daughter, and says, "It's time. I've been waiting for you. You're needed." And she leaps into the unknown as she heads off to college--ready, willing, able.
There is a quote on my office wall that says, "Mothering is partly the daily practice of living my own life, so that my daughter is free to live hers." And so it goes that Atlanta more fully opened her arms to me this week. Here are the first five visuals from Around Atlanta in 180 Days :
(click to make larger)
That one in the middle with the hot, molten glass was taken by my older daughter at the glassblowing class we took together. Faces hot from the 900-degree oven. Lips bitten while trying to remember to turn, turn, turn the pole in order to keep the body of raw material "on center." Air blown at the right speed to fill but not overwhelm (and blowing too hard and deciding we love that outcome, too). Then twisting it, shaping it, with unwieldy metal tools, our brains actually hurting from doing so many new things at once.
My younger daughter swings down the car windows, blasts the music and sings, the sun rising around us, and then ends the day the same way (sans sunrise), more excited than I have ever seen her during a first week of school. Hair wild, happy child, she fills the house with the sound of piano. Artwork cascades off tables. Candles get lit at dinner again. Stories-of-the-day take center stage.
My husband meets us places. Comes homes earlier. Laughs. Plays. I send him silly "nose-twirl" photos from odd locations. He Snapchats with the girls. We are somehow keeping things on center. Turning, turning, turning. And leaping into the unknown.