TO NEW YORK, WITH LOVE

Mothering . Doesn't the term call up images of adoring one's young? Of nudging them gently in the right direction? And also perhaps of gripping fear? That up-all-night fear of what might happen to them when they're out of our reach. Thankfully, I have found comfort for that aspect of mothering.

Ever since she could walk, our daughter, Ellie, has had one foot out the door—always ready to go on a trip. So just before eighth grade, when a family friend invited her to spend a week in New York City for a children's theater workshop, she was packed in minutes. We'd been to New York once before, so she felt she had the city thing down pretty well.

As her mother, however, I had some trepidation. we'd been living in the country since she was little, and although we'd visited cities now and then, delighting in the sights and various subway systems, it felt to me that our "little girl" was not really equipped to navigate the complexities of New York. So I requested that our friend please escort Ellie in the subway to and from the workshop—not realizing that this meant an hour-and-a-half roundtrip, twice daily.

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ARRANGEMENT IN RED AND GRAY
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