In thirty-eight days my oldest daughter turns 17.
I tell myself, whenever I need telling, that this is nothing to cause panic.
The fact that her darling boyfriend,
who calls me "Other Mom" and whom I call "Other Son",
now gets preferential treatment over me is a happy occasion.
She talks more and more about college and getting a job.
We've stopped discussing a mission,
recent state of affairs as faith goes have dampened those ambitions,
but she says she wants to remain active.
She no longer asks my permission to approach subject matter.
She's never needed it.
She is lovely, and kind, and funnier than a runny nose on an elephant.
And more likely than not, the dearest days that we'll have together are largely spent.
Nothing has ever ached with this sort of intensity in my breast.