My 21-year-old daughter, Emilia, is spending the coming year in Costa Rica. She will be working as a dorm advisor in a private school. It’s her version of a “gap year,” a break between college (NYU ’07) and whatever comes next.
I am in awe of her spirit of adventure, her willingness to experiment with her days, her commitment to learning more about herself as a teacher/traveler/citizen of the world. That same wilingness to live on the planet at large is a feature of her generation. Many of her friends are moving to parts of the US and the world to study, volunteer and experience cultures and lives far removed from the priviledges and protections with which they grew up.
Of course, this mother’s heart is in her throat. I wish her safe journey and speedy return. I wish it was easier to let go. But love ain’t cheap. It costs in tears and fears and everything else ever immortalized in twangy country-western heartbreak songs.
Her dad and I will visit when it’s very cold here in New England. By then, she’ll be fluent in Spanish and, she claims, an expert surfer. I can’t wait.
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