Expecting a Girl

On our peripatetic trip across country, we got used to making plans on the fly. And we even forced other people to accommodate our whims. And I’m not talking about our faithful pup, Trio, who had to adjust her “whims” to match ours.

I’m talking about my niece, who we didn’t bother to tell we were traveling across country and would be driving through the city where she attends college. We waited until we were one day away and then called her. We only got to see her every few years while she was growing up because we lived in Olywa while she was in Massachusetts, learning everything she needed to get into the college of her choice.

Talk about a bolt from the blue! I expected to meet a girl when we got to her college home. Instead, we were greeted by a mature young woman. I was in awe of her.

She lives in a city of 150,000, ten times the size of her hometown. Yet she navigated the city with ease, as if she actually had a car (which she doesn’t). She confidently recommended a restaurant for us to have dinner and directed us there expertly (I think; we could have driven in circles for all I know, but she would have had to repeat that driving back to campus).

The restaurant was perfect, with red meat for my partner and vegetarian choices (plural!) for me. (Our son stayed at the hotel with the pup.)

Over dinner, we talked about her passion: photography. She had thought that was what she was interested in while she was in high school, but now she is convinced. She’s won awards and prizes for her work—she’s really very good. That’s her photo of a Red Sox outfielder accompanying this blog entry. For more of her work, go to her website. Be sure to check out her portfolio to see the range of her interests.

I remember talking to my niece at a Thanksgiving dinner one year, when she was first considering becoming a photographer. And I remember thinking what a long shot it was. I don’t think that anymore.

Her work shows a maturity beyond her years. She’s made herself indispensable on campus as a photographer, by becoming the photo editor of the university’s newspaper and covering many of its Division I athletic events. She’s also shot at Fenway Park, and had her work used by Miley Cyrus. Not bad for a 20-year-old.

My sister has three kids. I missed most of their growing-up years while mired in Olywa, something that I regret (both missing their growing up and Olywa). Now that I’m in Vermont, I’m going to catch as much of their young adulthood as I can.

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