Our College Tour
I’ve done much more research about this than she’ll ever know
and I’ve danced on a tight-rope of what to say and leave unsaid.
I am carefully balancing
what is too much with what is needed or enough.
I sashay forward and back
hinting at and then avoiding topics.
I prime the pump.
I ask leading questions, but not too many, or too often.
I strictly keep my opinions to myself; I model curiosity instead.
I make a plan based on her instructions and then she navigates.
In seven states we never once get lost as we advance systematically
toward the next item on the itinerary.
She’s in charge, I just drive, pay and pray.
I trust her.
When she interviews in messy, unclean hair,
she slam dunks it, completely uncoached
because I didn’t make a fuss (although I easily could have)
and therefore she was natural and unselfconscious.
I’m chill and hang back
when she makes lists of impressions
not even trying to see what she has included to remember
(is it accurate; did she miss anything?)
and I’m okay when she makes decisions
based on her gut even though she can’t articulate why.
We see a toddler on a leash and she is aghast,
and thanks me for never doing that.
She realizes she is stronger
because I’m comfortable with some risk
and I’d rather teach control than ever dominate or curtail.
In all-you-can-eat cafeterias she is self modulating,
wisely making healthy selections,
while scoffing at junk food
that some stuff themselves on.
We listen to her music cranked up to the max
sitting companionably wordless for endless hours
in the whizzing, agile, fifty mile/gal car
and we both like it
which is all too fleeting
but it is clear she’’ll be going somewhere good.
It’s entirely up to her
with my input only when she asks for it
and she knows I’m here for her
tirelessly facilitating her happiness
in whatever way she wishes.
Because I’ve both
served so much
and held back so relentlessly
she’s taking responsibility for her choices
with no one micromanaging
and she is cautiously beginning
to own her own power too:
while honing her already acute perception
and directing her developing concept of a desirous outcome…
We are both reassured and encouraged by what we see and feel
appreciating this precious bubble of time with each other,
grateful for freedom, harmony, possibilities
and the blissful removal of stress.
Things will work out.
Wherever she goes,
she will do fine.
by Polly Castor