My younger daughter, 24 as of last week, came up for a flying visit on her way to a volunteer program she’s doing in upstate California next week. She’s an interesting kid (well, I’d say that anyway, wouldn’t I?) and hanging out with her is always fun. I caught her on her way out from BART (see left) and, after a little bit of administrivia (going home to feed the dog and drop her backpack) we went off to have movie popcorn and see Frozen II. Which is not as good as the first Frozen, but entertaining and sweet-tempered.
And then the kid wanted to go down to the Embarcadero in Sn Francisco and drink wine and watch the sunset. So that’s what we did. Went downtown, bought two cans of wine (honest to God, pull-top cans with a quite drinkable rose) and sat out on the Bay, talking about everything and everyone
This, apparently, the sort of thing the kid used to do a lot. But I was not there because 1) Mom, and 2) kid had other friends who were more appropriate for her to drink and hang out with. But today this was a thing she really wanted to do. So we sat in the increasing chill (January, sit-ing by the Bay, at sunset? Cold, yes.)
Then we went to a Burmese restaurant in the Mission and ate huge quantities of very tasty Burmese food.
Why am I telling you all this? Because my daughter is close to being a San Francisco native, and while I was setting up a home and doing some writing and getting a job and doing all that stuff, she was settling in and getting to know parts of the city I never did. This was the first time I sat by the Bay and watched the sun set (with to without a can of rosé). She knows parts of the city I have never experienced.
When I was a kid, there were rules about the subway (I was not to ride them unless accompanied by an adult) and buses (only the Authorized lines). I was only supposed to play on my block–intil I got old enough to be trusted to cross Sixth Avenue (and even then the grocer occasionally called my mother to make sure I hadn’t gone off the reservation in some hazardous way). I grew up with a powerful sense of how important it is for a kid to own the place where they live. So there were rules my kids had to follow but–following the rules I had been given as a kid–there was a lot of latitude about how strictly I followed them.
And I never got the opportunity to show my parents the places I discovered when I was kinda-sorta following the rules. My kid has, however, and I’m the better for it, as much as she is.