Note: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real people is purely coincidental, but I’d appreciate it if you don’t tell them anyway. Thanks in advance.
4/29/19 – Departure Day
To my daughter on her class trip to Israel,
You left today. I’m happy for you and sad for me. I miss you already.
4/30/19 – Day 1 – First full day without you
To my girl,
Remember when your brother went on his class trip to Israel and I wrote Letters to My Son While We’re Apart which you thought was funny and not at all weird and embarrassing?
5/1/19 – Day 2
I hope you will remember this trip for the rest of your life. I hope you will also remember some of the special moments the two of us shared preparing for it, just a few of which I will mention here:
- Remember when you took three bathing suits into the dressing room to try on and I grabbed another dozen more? When you balked, I said, “You know how I always told you that you can be anything you want to in this world? I did not mean that you can be the first woman in the history of the universe to try on three bathing suits and be happy with ALL three of them, even if you hadn’t ignored my advice about size and style.” Then you looked at my arm-full of bathing suits and told me you Do. Not. Want. A. Tankini. Or. A. Swimsuit. With. A. Pattern, but it turned out you DID want a tankini and a pattern?? And then you looked me in the eyes and said the words I longed to hear: “You were right.” Please don’t ever forget that moment because it is one of my fondest memories EVER. Especially for a dressing room memory.
- Remember when we argued relentlessly about hats and I said I would compromise on the wide brim and let you wear a baseball hat? I kept suggesting light-weight, sweat-wicking, easy-to-wash baseball hats, which you rejected, but I kept suggesting, and you kept rejecting (and so on…) until finally I yielded and let you get two baseball hats that don’t breathe and each weighs a pound? I still bought one lightweight one in case you came to your senses and realized that why, yes, you do look good in it after all, AND, yes, it’s great that it weighs less than a butterfly considering your duffel weighs in at 49.9 pounds, but you wouldn’t relent, so I have a new hat. Well, after seeing the pictures on Facebook where your entire class is wearing hats, except you, I’m rethinking what I told you about the bathing suits. Anyone stubborn enough to argue about a hat they aren’t going to wear anyway probably CAN be anything she wants in the world, including the first woman to like the first bathing suit she tries on, in the wrong size… just as long as her mother didn’t suggest it.
5/2/19 – Day 3
I haven’t heard from you nearly as much as I wished, which is still logarithmically more than I heard from your brother when he was on his class trip to Israel. So I’ll say the same thing to you that you said to me when I outlived my mother: “Good job! Let’s just say it’s an improvement!”
Today you sent three photos:
- A flowering tree in what appears to be a prison yard
- A crab
- One of the boys in your class wearing a full-brim hat
So I’ll attempt to guess what you’re trying to tell me in each of these photos:
- Um… Give me a hint. How many words? A Tree Grows in Brooklyn! No? Um… A Cypress grows in Cyprus!??
- I’m so sorry about the crab. I was sure I had requested a kosher meal, but there were a lot of forms and I might have accidentally sent them one of your 15 ear drops prescriptions. (That does explain the look on the pharmacist’s face at CVS, though.)
- If it’s not too much trouble, could you ask your friend to take a picture of YOU wearing YOUR hat, and send that to me?
I miss you & love you,