One Door Closes, Another One Opens

One Door Closes, Another One Opens
Last night, I was awake at three. Still awake at four. It doesn’t happen very often, and I don’t freak out when it does. My husband’s been out of town this week, so I flipped on the light and started reading, telling myself I’d figure out a way to take a nap later if my day got too long. When the alarm went off, I hit snooze, and then I hit it again. By the time I wandered into the kitchen, Lauren was already up. But her bedroom door was closed. That’s new, I thought. I could hear early Michael Jackson as I flipped on the kettle for tea and turned the kitchen radio to NPR. Lauren has an eclectic playlist for a kid her age. She’s asserting her independence, I realized, looking at her closed door. Although I knew this day was coming, it made me sad. I know that’s what she’s supposed to be doing, and I’m supposed to be letting her do it, unfurling the leash a little bit at a time. It’s my job to help her get ready to leave, to find her own way in the world without the oversight of her mom. The hardest part about cancer is wondering if that day is going to come too soon. I try not to let my mind go there, to tamp down all the what-ifs that aren’t productive. Eventually, Lauren emerged from her room fully dressed, looking every inch a teenager. While we had breakfast, I quizzed her on her history study guide and then drove her to school wearing a sweatshirt over my pajama top. She’s a straight-A student involved in sports, drama, singing, and sc
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