Once, Constance’s father said he felt I was like Rocket Raccoon translating Baby Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. Not knowing the reference and with a busy, hectic schedule, I couldn’t provide a clever retort. Today, I looked it up and, watching it on a loop, remembered all the times I would explain Constance’s words, actions, or needs. I thought about the times when I failed her. I thought about the times when I hadn’t.
It is such a blessing, getting to know your child so well, to be able to advocate for them in big and little ways. I feel lucky I had role models and friends to help with that. I hope I did okay by Constance. You don’t really get a parenting report card. More to the point, you don’t get do-overs.
I know having her as a daughter has changed me and losing her has changed me. It makes me think of those old action-figure commercials that ran during Saturday morning cartoons that bragged “Now with karate chop action”—only I am not with terminally deleterious vibes.