Second, despite all my maternal inclinations to nag (I mean advise), I realized I really didn't have to remind Lulu to do anything that she was supposed to do. In fact, I started to experience a disconcerting sense of role reversal. At night, while I spent precious hours welded to my earbuds obsessively watching pirated episodes of "Homeland" that I'd missed, Lulu was flopped on the bed grading papers, checking her teaching notes, and humming quietly to herself. She was the one who chose the restaurants we went to and deciphered the Thai menu so that I didn't end up ordering goat brains. She gave me explicit directions on how to get around and begged me to pay attention to her instructions (I didn't). The one time I decided to play my maternal role and do a wash, I managed to thoroughly launder the camera that was tucked in her pants pocket and wipe out all the photos on her flash card. How could I be so careless?!On the road, the changes became even more glaring. When we got an after-hours tour of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, hired a guide to tour the fabulous Temples of Bagan, climbed the craggy steps of Mt. Popa, or took an all-day tour of the water-logged towns of Inle Lake
At this point, my beautiful global daughter (whom I've routinely bombarded with counsel on good manners and appropriate behavior) called me out for being a spoiled brat who doesn't understand Southeast Asia or grasp how good I actually have it, then threw in the clincher: why are you always losing your temper and bumming everybody out with your crap attitude over things that you can't control and won't change?And that is when the Buddha (and believe me, by this point in the temple-laden trip, we'd seen plenty of that smiling, placid, peace-loving, "he-knows-something-you-don't" guy) had the last laugh.
I suddenly got it.The knowledge was sweet and a little bitter -- but I realized inescapably that my baby girl is all grown up. She's smart, competent, courageous, and knows how to carry her own weight. In fact, she's grand.
Now I'm going to go put myself in timeout until I can deal with that.