My daughter (community service, central America- you’re up to speed)) did actually communicate with me over the weekend. The email goes something like this:
I hope this letter finds you well. My community service experience has exceeded all my expectations thus far. This morning we had to work with cement to repair the walls of a school. This was grueling labor, but it was a worthwhile experience knowing that the children will have a safe environment to pursue their studies……..blah….blah….blah……
Please express my warmest regards to Father, the canine and the feline.
And upon receiving this email, I screamed. For the first time since she left, I was truly worried. It was obvious that my daughter had joined a cult. Or was abducted by aliens. Or got off the plane in Stepford. So I fired back:
Who is this and what have you done with my snarky, sarcastic teenager? Where is she? I’m sorry we don’t have any money. We used it all to send her on this trip.
And then my second thought was “My husband is not Liam Neeson. He has no skills.”
My email pinged.
Wow Mom. You think you would be glad to hear from me as I’m the only reason for your existence.
And I breathed a sigh of relief. It truly was my daughter. I could feel the sarcasm and teen angst surging through the internet.
But why the formal Edwardian language? I’m pretty sure she didn’t bring down and highbrow literature (in fact I know she took a teen lit page turner because I saw the Barnes and Noble charge) And though her school writing is just shy of brilliant, (no maternal bias at all) her communication with me is…..informal.
And my guess is, she was a little home sick. By writing more formally, she was probably able to distance herself. Too much witty repartee would remind her that I’m not there to drink a cup of tea with and chat about our day. I’m not there to fluff her pillow just a little bit before she goes to bed. It would remind her that we’re apart.
Our past few emails are how we always talk to one another- short, to the point, yet filled with warmth. I’m figuring she realizes that it’s OK to miss me…to miss home. Missing something doesn’t make you weak, but working through the missing and allowing yourself to have fun and experience life makes you strong.
We are ending our emails with XO- which is how we always end our communications, whether it’s a text that she’s met up with her friends, or an email from Central America- because no matter where she is or what she’s doing, I always want her to remember that I love her.