While my daughter was away, she—my beautiful, hilarious, little girl—started growing up. I don’t want her to bemoan the inevitable; she will grow up. She IS growing up. I want to be in complete control of the kind of woman she turns out to be: strong, smart, powerful, unstoppable, and feminist. I want that affirmation, and my routines, to be enough armor against the effects of a mostly-absent father.
But I can’t really—really really—control the woman she is becoming, regardless of which coast she’s on. So what’s a mother to do?