Tuesday, September 07, 2010

On Her Way

My daughter starts high school today. My bugabooga. My lovebug. My munchiekins. My baby girl, who laughed so easily, walked so late, and spent more naps with me in the rocking chair than in her crib. My little girl, whose first word after “Mama” was “shoe.” Who, at the age of six had had more boyfriends than I have had, still, at age 40. Yeah, see where I’m going with this? It’s scary. She’s grown up too fast.

The last couple of weeks I have spent most days wanting to strangle her. She gets her anxiety from her father, worrying about whether the milk has gone bad or if chicken nuggets will poison her. I was really tempted by the end of last week to start crushing up my Lexapro into her meals without her knowing. “What if I don’t have any friends in my classes?” “What if I can’t find my class?” “My binders and folders have to match and be cute.” “I don’t want to get bullied.” And the new one yesterday – “I don’t want to get shot.” Endless worry on her part, frayed nerves on mine.

Last week we got her schedule and, of course, had to immediately get it changed since they’d somehow missed assigning her to biology. This only set her off about how stupid the school was and how she didn’t want to go. It didn’t help that her counselor mispronounced her name as “Divine”, which embarrassed her as much as it delighted me and I have vowed to call her that from now on. She hates me for it. By that night, she did a complete one-eighty and was ready to start school. Last night she went from dreading this morning to being completely prepared and calm. She even remarked how quickly her moods are changing. Yeah, I’ve got my own neuroses to deal with, I can’t keep up with hers too.

This morning she set her alarm for 5:30. And got up. On her own. Before me. By the time I got out of the shower, her bed was already made. She was smiling, not sulking, her usual morning demeanor. Color me impressed with a shade of surprised. Until I learned that she ate a hot dog bun for breakfast. Yep. At 14, my child is incapable of making a halfway decent breakfast for herself. She still needs me after all. Me and my chocolate chip pancakes.

I hugged her at least three times before she left to catch the bus. Hugged her until she rolled her eyes, squirmed just a bit and said, “Mom, I’m going to be late.” I watched her walk away, closed the door and cried.

I hope she forgives me for the “I love you” note that I snuck into her lunch.


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