Goodbye Mommy. Goodbye Daddy (somehow he still gets to be called Daddy. For the record, that’s so not fair). Goodbye little kids.
Leaving behind all that made life cute: the days of make believe and unicorns, cool crafts, matching outfits (that I bought. I had good taste back then), oh, those photo opps, Disney princesses, dare I go on, and on? Now the road that is set before me is the truth of my parenting mistakes, school projects, the girls must go shopping with me, or else, they wouldn’t be caught dead in anything I pick out (and btw, all those matching outfits were so ugly). Oh, and now every photo that we take ends with, “Let me see that. No. You’re not using that. Oh my gosh, we’re deleting that.” Thank goodness there’s community theater. Our days of dress up are not over yet!
But I’m just fooling myself if I believe that this is going to keep on going. There’s a death here. Our family unit isn’t want it used to be. And given time, that too, will change. Although somehow Daddy will always get to be Daddy. My Mom called my Grandpa that until he died, and still, she refers to him with that special badge of honor.
But I’m digressing. No one prepared me for this. There was just such magic when the kids were younger, they were our constant source of entertainment, pleasure and concern. I really did believe we could live in our bubble forever. And I was so busy that there wasn’t anyone to argue with me.
And I wasn’t stupid enough to actually beleive those parents of tweens and teens who tried to scare us with the tales of how things would change. It seemed blaspehmous to hear that the kids wouldn’t bother to talk in the car rides. It seemed there would never be a day I’d ask “how was your day?” or that I could say “Good morning” and I’d be talking to myself. (I have learned to make the most of these conversations).
There was no way I was going to even think about all that was going to befall my daughters in order for them to have to grow up.
Making this switch was not for the faint of heart and it didn’t happen overnight. I can still find myself falling into old patterns of behavior based on memories. For me, 15 years seems like no time at all, so it really wasn’t that long ago that my first daughter was born. We had that introduction and we could see into one another’s soul.
I remember the relationship I had with both of my daughters and how it morphed into new realities with time. There was a time she could do nothing for herself. Either one of them, for that matter.
So now I empty the dishwasher, even though it’s their job. I have to catch myself when my oldest says she wants to be in a play and I go into research mode and look up when auditions are, when the play would be and then I look up every conflict we would have that would prevent her from being able to do it. (And then my youngest, who’s so used to the drill, she just goes and does everything herself before I even ask). I want to do these things, but Daddy, note the sarcasm in my use of this word, who’s so much wiser than I am on this (he’s not going through these growing pains the way I am), he tells me not to do for them.
But it’s more than a habit. I want to do everything I can for her, and secretly, the big secret of it all, it’s because I don’t want to do for myself. Every step I give my daughter that she may take towards her independence reminds me of every step I must take towards my own.
Nothing like Elton John at times like this. Suddenly, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is getting tossed about in my head. So if you need a station break. Here he is.
But Estefania (my alter stage persona) is here to nudge me to stop focusing on what I’m losing and to start paying attention to the road that lies ahead. FUN, remember? We had a club we used to go to in college called WFUN. So we just need a kick of that in our lives right?
But instead of leaving this on that cheery note, maybe we do need to take a pause. While we still have Elton buzzing around in our heads, maybe this is something to muse about.
A Muse 4 You: Are you feeling you’re at a crossroads in your life? Is there something or someone you’re having a hard time letting go of?