Today is Kayla’s 20th Birthday. It’s two days before Thanksgiving. Some college students are already home for the break. Kayla isn’t coming home until tomorrow. I’m pretty sure it’s because she wants to spend her birthday with her boyfriend, Gabe.
I’m second fiddle in her life now. We haven’t see her as much this year as in the previous two years in school. When she has come home, it’s been to get her hair done. That’s OK. This is the natural order. This is the way you’re supposed to “lose” your children. They grow up. They move away. They get boyfriends. They’d rather be with their friends than with you. They get their own interests and they stop coming home as much. Kayla has a year long lease on her apartment in Toledo. She says she is going to get a job there this summer. I have been avoiding thinking about that. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
As I was coming down the stairs this morning, saying good morning to Shayna, like I do every day I heard her saying back to me “I’ll never leave you, Daddy.” That reminded me of when Kayla became a teenager and started the moodiness that comes with that age. Shayna wrote up a contract promising us she would never become a typical teenager and signed it. It hangs on the whiteboard in the basement. She was right. She didn’t become a typical teenager even though she will be forever 15 to us.
I dreamt of Shayna last night. She and Kayla and I were at the mall. We were just leaving and were on the sidewalk outside of the store. Shayna was about 7 or 8 with the chubby face she had at one time. She was wearing the glasses she wore before she got contacts. She was acting like typical Shayna not paying attention to where she was going. There was a duck or something moving through the parking lot that had fascinated her. As she walked I was scared she was going to step off of the curb into traffic. I could see her getting hit by a car and killed. I just knew that was how she died. Then, I remembered that that wasn’t how she had died and that she was already dead. And, I woke up.
We’ll get to see Kayla a little this Thanksgiving. We’ll head to Kentucky for Thanksgiving Day. Then, we’re off to Columbus on Saturday and she’ll leave from there back to Toledo on Sunday. I’m working on things to be grateful for. I know it won’t be long until she decides to spend Thanksgiving somewhere else. So, I’m grateful for any time with her now.