My daughter Julie went back to college yesterday, after spending six weeks at home between quarters. Except for a brief outbreak of giggliness when I first viewed that Fiesta Bowl video clip (see the previous entry), I've been feeling a little weepy since she left. Fortunately, I had one of my Christmas gifts from Stan -- Anna Quindlen's new book Good Dog.Stay. -- to give me some perspective, if not comfort. In considering the relationship of children to parents and to family dogs, she says:
For children, the point of having a dog is something like the point of
having a mother and father. Our job is not to do but to be, not to act but
to exist. We are bedrock scenery, landscape, to be often ignored and
then clung to during difficult or frightening or, occasionally, happy
times. My mom, my dad, my home, immutable, to leave and then to return to
at will and leave again.
I think that says it all.