Yesterday I read the book A Fault in Our Stars. It’s about a 16 and 17 year old who have cancer and meet and fall in love. It sounds morbid and depressing, but the characters were so compelling, I got past the circumstances and got carried away by the beautiful writing.
There was a point in the book, where the main character, Hazel, is going on a trip abroad, with her mom and her boyfriend, and her dad says goodbye to her because he’s staying home, and she says that she thought he looked as though he was thinking that he might not see her again. And that somehow struck me as poignant, but also struck me as kind of what we experience everyday when our kids walk out the door, even when they’re healthy. Or, especially when they’re healthy.
When Ally leaves everyday, what she learns out there makes her different. It happens in long and short strokes, not all at once, but little by little she is becoming more a grown up and less a little girl, filled with knowledge and opinions she carves like a back woods whittler, into her own.
While Jake was at University of Barcelona during his first semester of college, it was less of a college experience and more of a college adventure. This is his first semester at USC, the college he will spend the next three and a half years at, so things are more real and more permanent. I can already detect the changes in him. I’ll never again see that kid who left at the beginning of the month.
Maybe it goes for all of us when we walk out the door, if we’re living our lives in a way that challenges us, and features curiosity as a major. Each day, we may never again see the person who left. The book is really good. A well written reminder of how tenuous and fragile, mean and beautiful life is. Always grateful for a reminder like that.