Now That I'm Someone Else

LIfe and loves of the bubble bath queen

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Not the boss of me

It’s finally happened. I tried to hide it, to make my daughter think I am omnipotent but somehow, someway, she figured it out-I am not the boss of her!

Monday my beautiful Mo and I had a bit of a loud discussion about her boyfriend. I have had enough, I tried to be patient, kill him with kindness, the whole reverse psychology thing. Game over, can’t do it anymore so I broke the cardinal rule, did the thing I said I would never do.

“This is it Mo, this cannot continue, you can’t see him anymore.” Drawing myself up to my entire 5 feet 4 inches, “ I FORBID IT!”

“ Really?” as she stood up to her full 5 feet 3 ½ inch height. “ I’m 16, this is my life, my relationship, AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!”

Shit, she’s right, I had just hoped it would take her longer to figure that out, like after she was married.

I remember the good old days (less than 12 years ago) when I knew everything and had the final word on all subjects. Mo had all the questions and I had all the answers. Most of the time I tried to reason with her, give her a real answer to her questions.

Me- Stop putting Froot Loops up your nose.
Mo- Why?
Me- Because they will get stuck and you won't be able to breath.
Mo-Why
Me- Because you are supposed to eat them, not stick them up your nose.
Mo- Why?
Me- Because I said so.

Ah, it was a simpler time. I was the Mom so my word was law. I knew why rain falls down instead of up, I knew why carrots are good for you and dirt is not, I knew why dogs sniffed each others butts so it only stood to reason that she should do everything I say, because I knew everything.

Not so much anymore. I know nothing and I cannot make her do anything she doesn't want to do.

We know this from the very first time they run from us as toddlers, we can’t make them do anything. We can try and guide them, help them make good decisions. Try to make them think we know all and see all and that the most important thing is listening to your mother and doing what you are told. But short of chaining them in the basement we can’t MAKE them do anything.

Now we are in this weird place. I knew it was coming but I’m still not ready for it. My baby knows she is not a little girl anymore. She knows I don’t know everything, or even most things. Mo knows it is time for her to start making her own way in this world.

In less than two years my little girl will legally be an adult. She reminds me of this all the time, and tells me I need to start letting her make her own decisions and live her own life. There are still so many things to protect her from, more so it seems, than when she was a toddler.

Who decided 18 is the age when you are magically transformed into an adult? She’s not ready. I'm not ready. So the dance starts now, Mo pulling away, me trying to hang on. Mo trying to figure out the woman she will be, me only seeing the baby she was.

I will have to learn how to talk to this grown up daughter of mine in a way that lets her know that I respect the woman she is becoming but it is still my job to guide her. And Mo will have to learn to talk to this Mother of hers as an adult.

It's time for me to let her steer her own ship, to hope that the things her father and I have taught her are in there, and she hears them, to hope she respects herself, her parents and others enough to do the right thing and not just the easy thing. And to hope that eventually, we will come full circle, and she will need me again.

Until then, I will watch from the sidelines, always ready to catch her when she falls and hoping with all of my heart that she never needs me to.

I’m just not ready

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1 Comments:

Blogger cookiecrum said...

I AM SOOO HAPPY TO SEE MY DAUGHTER REALIZE HOW HARD IT IS TO LET GO!!! I ONLY HOPE I CAN BE THERE WHEN SHE NEEDS ME.

August 14, 2009 at 5:22 PM  

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