My daughter took me on her favorite route last Saturday, past many gardens full of dahlias. Usually she jogs, but I have to walk. It was hot, I should have brought water. I listened to her chat about work, her friends, the life she’s made for herself in Seattle, her current challenges and hopes for the future. She wisely characterized this period of her life as one in which she is forming herself as an adult in the world and establishing a new way of relating to us, her parents.
I remember thinking the same thing when I was in my twenties. I spent a lot of time figuring out how to be true to myself, acknowledge the support my parents had given me growing up and yet separate myself from them. I was trying to relate to my parents as an adult, be a sibling without being a child, and create a community of my own.
I huffed and puffed and paused a lot on the stairway she took me up, wishing again for a bottle of water, chugging on because I knew there would be a view at the top.
Though the dahlias are fading now in September, they are a colorful reminder of us, two women who have dignity, elegance and a bond that will last forever.