Miss O had what may have been the most adorable little existential meltdown at bedtime tonight. I was sitting there rubbing her back and we had the following conversation:
MISS O: Dad... after I go to college, I don't know where I'm going to live. Is it okay if I still live with you and Mom?
ME: Of course, sweetie. You can live with us for as long as you'd like.
MISS O: That's good. I want to be a painter when I grow up, [her voice starts cracking, like she's trying not to cry] and I don't know the places I can live if I want to be a painter.
ME: Well, you know, painters can live anywhere. There are painters all over the world.
MISS O: Yeah? Okay, but if you guys move and you see a house on your street with one of those sale signs on the lawn, can you tell me and then I'll buy it.
ME: Sure. Maybe you can get the house across the street and then when I want to visit you, I'll just jump in the car and drive across the street and say, "Hi, I'm here!"
MISS O: [laughs] I think I'll be an abstract painter for a while and then do some other styles.
ME: That sounds great... but, you know, I think you have a year or two before you have to decide exactly what you want to do.
It went on for a bit and she vacillated between being on the verge of tears and then laughing. It's fucking wild, 'cuz I remember Mr. Z having almost the same conversations with us when he was around six. Something about realizing that they're starting to get a lot more independent and then thinking ahead and realizing what the fuck that really means.
I think I put Miss O's mind at ease, though. And I'm not worried about her -- I'm sure the minute she has the chance to move out, she'll be more than ready to bolt. And if she does want to come back and stay in her room, she'll just have to convince whatever schmucks are living here to let her in, 'cuz the Old Lady and I sure as fuck aren't gonna be hangin' around this life-suck of a town.
Actually, she can probably just rent her old bedroom out from Mr. Z. He said he's never moving out -- he's gonna get married, have six kids and live in our house forever. That's it -- shoot for the stars, boy! Everything you need is here: Cracker Barrel, Caeserland, Ye Olde Country Buffet, Heavenly Ham...
Holy crap, I gotta get outta this town.