Today I’m packing. Not for myself. My daughter is moving. She’s starting a PhD program at Emory University in math. Yes, math. (For those of you who are math people, she hopes to do her work in either complex analysis or graph theory. For non-math people, it’s theoretical math.) For those of you who know me—yes, I’m quite sure I must’ve brought the wrong baby home from the hospital.
In any case, it’s a lot of work packing up twenty-one years of your life. Mostly lots of papers and memories for her to sort. And some for me too. As she packs, she leaves things on my dresser that she thinks I might like to keep. A fan from a wedding that we attended long ago. A blouse that I haven’t been able to find for years (we sometimes wear each other’s clothes and shoes). And an address book. But she's not leaving it for me for the addresses. She's leaving it for me because of the pictures--photos of pigs. Ariel loves pigs, especially ugly pigs. And I promised her years ago that when she moved away, I’d cut the pigs out of the address book and make them into cards to send to her. (Even though I think the pigs are hideous--like something out of a nightmare.)
She made sure I knew which pig card she wanted first. It’s the homeliest, mottled pig—even its mother would think it was ugly. But I’ll be cutting it out and making it into a card. And she’ll know how much I miss her.
|Okay, if I squint and use my imagination, this pig could almost be cute.|
|Is this not the ugliest pig you have ever seen? Soon it will be card number one.|