Imagine travelling before the 1960s, when people carried suitcases! There's such romance in the click of the clasps, the tiny key hole, and the little rack on which to suspend clothes on hangers. Imagine travelling with clothes on hangers! I have a stack of these old cases, and my girls have taken to playing with them.
I want to go where she's going...a place where essentials include a top made of gold coins, a silver shawl, things made of lame and sequins and beads and fringe. And wings and a wand. She tells me ballet school is her destination.
She decides at the last minute that packing a feather pillow makes her suitcase too heavy, and shifts her clothes into a smaller case covered in old stickers from France, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal.
I kiss her goodbye and wish her well, and even though ballet school is just in the kitchen, I feel a twinge of trepidation at the thought of her heading out the door for real someday, a back pack full of dreams and the things she finds essential (even though she assures me today that she will work as an ice cream girl and will live with her mom and dad forever).
The night before she leaves, I'll slip courage, curiosity, common sense, and a kiss into it to send her on her way.
But for now, I'll follow her into the kitchen, where I'll be magically transformed from mama to ballet teacher.