April 21st – “The Pick Up”

I missed a day of blogging because I was in Guelph yesterday picking up my daughter Rachel from University. It was a long day. Driving. Packing. Carrying. And the turning of our van into a giant jigsaw puzzle in an attempt to make everything fit. Nailed it!!!! She’s home, and it’s nice to have her back for a few months.

Nearly 19 years ago, I pulled the car around to the front entrance of the Newmarket hospital, (brand spanking new car seat secure in the back), where Lori was standing cradling Rachel in her arms. I jumped out, opened the door, and we gently secured her tiny, fragile little body into her seat. My very first successful pick up! Since then there have been so many.

Picking her up from her first day of playschool. She was in tears. I was in tears.

Picking her up from her first day of regular school. She couldn’t wait to share everything!!

Picking her up from her first sleepover. It was midnight. She didn’t quite make it.

Picking her up from her first experience at camp. Longest week of my life!

And so on, and so on, and so on.

It seems like each pick up comes at the end of an ever longer period of time away. But whether it is at the end of an hour, or half a year, each pick up feels the same, a mixture of relief, gratitude, and joy, and a sense that the scattered pieces of our family portrait have fallen into place again.

Rachel now has a driver’s license and a boyfriend, so my pick-up days with her are largely behind me, which isn’t a bad thing, as I have two other happy wanderers who need chauffeuring around and about. But no doubt there will come a day when I will miss those moments when I would pull up in the car, watch her climb in, and then ask the question that we both knew was coming, a question that could evoke a tear or a smile, a question that could be answered with many words, or none at all, but a question that I hope will always let her know that whatever story she has to share, is a story I want to share with her;

“So Rach, how did it go?”