Whoops, looks like I forgot to update for three years. Funny how these things happen.
So the last time I posted, G was 13, had just started eighth grade, and was dabbling in theater. Fast-forward a bit, and G is now almost 17, a junior in high school, and is planning to make theater her career. In fact, as I type this, she's preparing to go onstage for performance no. 10 (of 12) in a local production of "Into the Woods," in which she's playing Jack's Mother. I think this is the 15th or 16th show she's been in since she did "Annie" back in 2012, and between performing, taking acting and voice lessons, and going to school, she's very busy. And as her chauffeur--I've been trying to convince her to get her license, but no luck so far--so am I.
Aside from all the driving and stage parenting (not crazy stage parenting, though; I've met a few, shall we say, intense stage parents, and I do not want to go there), and of course my day job, I've spent a lot of the last three years resurrecting and improving on the French I learned in college. I don't know how well I'd do if I were turned loose on the streets of Paris to communicate with actual French people, but I can read magazines and watch movies in French, so I'd call that at least a moderate success. I also started learning photography sometime in 2013, and this year I've given myself a personal project of visiting and photographing all the beaches in my part of Southern California. If you're wondering how many beaches that is, the answer is "a crapload."
On another note, I remember when P first died, I thought about the fact that it would be eleven years until then-seven-year-old G was an adult, and it seemed like the most insurmountable length of time. It wasn't that I thought I couldn't handle it--I knew that I could, and would, because there was no other option--but I could feel the weight of every one of those days to come, sitting on my chest like a stone.
Now we're at nine years and almost four months, and looking back, it seems like an entire lifetime and also no time at all. G is happy and healthy and utterly untraumatized by having done most of her growing up with only one parent (she remembers her father "some," she says, but not enough to be troubled by his absence), and I may feel stressed out now and then, but overall I have things pretty much together. I wish I could somehow tell my 2006 self all this, but then there are a lot of things I'd like to tell my various selves at different stages of my life, if only time could move in more than one direction.