This has been a Birthday Week. Quite a big one, actually. Triss has officially turned teen and Mariel hit the double digits. (Cornflower's birthday is in November, which she finds inherently unfair in September with her two sisters getting all the attention...)
We are adjusting to the new bigness of these two. They tell me they don't feel any different, and really all that has changed is a number. The growing takes place gradually, doesn't it?
And yet birthday events have a way of highlighting changes that have been gradually, quietly taking place. I got up at 3 yesterday morning to put Triss on a plane with her grandparents.
They will be in Florida until Saturday, when she will stand on the dock before the cruise ship that will take her and her grandparents out to sea and be faced with the reality of "952 feet long".
(Update, 9/29: Er, that should read "952 feet tall". I was corrected by my little jet-setter this morning when she informed me that the ship is actually over 11,000 feet long.)
(Later update: Okay, I looked it up, and it *is* 952 feet long. It has been awhile since she presented her research to us, so she must have forgotten.)
And after they sail, she will add to that understanding the knowledge of the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean as felt when out on a large ship with no land around-- a hulking vessel reduced to insignificance. Ah, yes, Living Geography. It really is a big, big world.
(I tried to explain this vastness after Mr. Honey's and my cruise a couple of years ago, but the kids just couldn't know it the way I did. There is something about the seeming infinity of water, unchanging for hours or sometimes days, that brings an understanding of the sea one cannot get from books, maps, or even the tales of travelers. And I'm talking about being out on a luxury cruise liner, hee hee. Just think what we would learn if we were on a small work ship of some kind!)
She called us last night, full of excitement and news about waves, bodysurfing and the beach. They were eating supper at a little restaurant overlooking "their" stretch of beach, a restaurant in which we ate during our trip to Florida six years ago. I could picture it all, and I am happy she gets this experience.
Meantime, those of us at home are following her journeys on a map and telling each other, "she's not here, remember?" It feels a little like part of the roof has caved in. She will be home in eight more days, full of new stories to tell and new thoughts to ponder.
But who's counting?