At last, after a five hour trip, we are back on Martha’s Vineyard, at my aunt's and uncle’s house. I’m happy to be sitting in a rocking chair on their wide, covered, front porch. The world goes by and I can just rock. Whether I think or not does not matter to a soul. The entourage are all inside working on putting together an evening meal for everyone. I am off the hook because I offered to do dishes.
Ingrid and the girls are totally sold on Whately Prep. I have my reservations; there was an undercurrent that neither Declan nor Julia explained to my liking. Clearly, there was something more than a small act of mischief that precipitated Declan’s concern. However, I was thoroughly impressed by the campus and the academic rigor of the place. I can picture Kendra in New England. Whately is bucolic and it feel like time stood still. There is tradition. There are so many clear-headed reasons to allow her to attend Whately Prep. Not the least of which is that she qualifies for the Edwina Goodwin Foundation Scholarship. Free ride except spending money, books and transportation.
When we were growing up, Declan and I were close. Every summer, we would hang out at each other’s houses on the Vineyard. It was three months of condensed joy. Being a kid, being a boy. Now we tell tales about our escapades...the broken window at Giordano’s Restaurant, the tourist’s rental bicycle borrowed for one ride around Owen Park or the time we ate three pies my mother made that were earmarked for the Portuguese American Club. He would be in Kendra’s life. I know her would treat her like his own. Especially because Kendra was so close in age to Kelly. Kelly’s burial was brutal; it was as if my own daughter died. Yet, here she is, full of plans and pleads to attend school here in New England. How can I let her go?
We have to make a decision within the week. There are other students hoping to get this coveted last-minute slot. Suddenly, I have an inspiration. I will let Ingrid be the deal-maker. If she decides that she thinks it is best, I won’t stand in her way. There should be better disclosure about the constant formula of letting go when you become a parent.
I recall Ingrid’s friend dismissing her complaints during pregnancy. “Be grateful, it’s the time you have the most control over your child. Once they leave your womb, all bets are off.” I have thought of Ingrid telling me that many times since. I am not even much of a betting man.