“How was dance class?”

I pulled up to the dance studio, a humble retreat in the upstairs of a beige concrete box. The wood floor that supports the pressure of pointe shoes poses in first position, directly above a garage that advertises TV repair. Fluorescent tubes radiate outward onto dark, wet streets. Kid A peers out, pushes the glass door, and glides down the steps and into the car.

“Hi, Dancer.”

It’s my same greeting as any other Tuesday night. Except this time from out of the blue my throat clenches and I just sit there quietly in the dark as I start the car. In a little over a year she’ll be away to college or wherever life takes her, and if I pull up to this lonely side street I’ll just be left to wait. The simple acts of pulling up, saying hi, how was dance class, catching up on what’s for dinner and how was school and all those minutiae that don’t mean anything are everything. This is the Relationship With My Daughter and as I realize this and that it will all be different in a year and a half my eyes start to swell up and I just ease the car backwards in the dark and try to pull myself back together until I have the composure to say, “How was dance class?”

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