I call her our pet-pimp. Amanda is not only my daughter’s best friend, but has become essentially a daughter to my husband and me as well. Amanda’s family lives on a farm near Madison, Wisconsin and, well-deserved cheesehead jokes aside, they are fine, fine, people. My daughter first met Amanda when they were matched as dorm roommates in their freshman year of college. The friendship took root and survived the ensuing tumultuous years of young-adult growth and discovery. They have been there for each other during good and bad boyfriends, hangovers, jobs that went sour, and the distance that comes with life after college.
Amanda’s pet-pimping was a serendipitous, yet woo-woo, thing. For instance, just as Tad and I secretly started looking for a husky puppy, Amanda called—from Wisconsin–to say she had a co-worker who raised huskies. Were we interested? Thus, through her connections Booker came into our lives. In the same haunting vein, the stirrings to get a kitten where just starting when again Amanda contacted us. “My dad found this tiny stray kitten in the heifer pen this morning. We’ve cleaned her up and fed her, but I have this strong feeling she is supposed to be with you guys. Any interest?” Ta Da! Miss Pudgy arrived in our home. In case you are wondering, Tad and I have not been thinking about getting an elephant or grizzly bear. Amanda’s woo-woo psychic ability is good, but enough is enough.
Amanda is leaving for New Zealand next week. She has felt the pull of that area of the world for some time, and is acting upon her instincts. Her work visa is good for one year, and she intends to make the most of it. I told her many women dream about exploration and adventure, but most never act upon those desires. It is too easy to become caged in responsibility and domesticated from expectations. I’m incredibly proud of her for living an amplified life, and for listening to her wildness.
She has given away most of her household possessions, sold her vehicle, and is now making her good-bye rounds. Amanda spent the night with us last night, and we talked into the starry morning hours. After breakfast I walked her to her borrowed car and we hugged our farewells. As I looked into her eyes I saw more than the warm glow of a dearly loved person. I saw a young woman striding confidently in the direction of her destiny. It was the best part of my day.