She wants balloons at the pool party, and I think a cloud of purple balloons would be just right. There is no such thing as too young or fun in these last days before turning fourteen.
I have thought lonely and long about how far beyond my reach you are now, how gone beyond my knowing. There is so much of me you do not need or want or like. That you cannot like just now, on the brink of turning fourteen.
We bought school supplies today. How few days like this remain—new ruler, pens, and notebooks, graph paper, pocket folders, pencil cases—a hundred dollars worth. I resented the trouble and money. But when you came home and loaded your backpack for next Wednesday’s bell, I cried over these lines.
Am I more frightened than at the start? I thought I’d break you then but it’s me torn in two.
I said yes, invite everyone to the party, twice as ever before, let everyone come for this last splash and splurge—greasy pizza and pixie sticks—all our beautiful daughters, our hearts, our dreams, let them laugh and scream, be silly, be lovely, take the cake, claim the prize, the women we’ve never seen and might yet meet, our daughters are turning fourteen.