Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Things I'm Not Ready For

D will be 17 next month. Which means I have one year left to "enjoy" her childhood. I'm not ready for the ups and downs and the roller coaster of emotions that this will bring. I can't wait for her to leave, I can't bear the thought of her leaving. I'm so proud of her growing up; I want her to go back to being little. It's the best and the worst and the happiest and the saddest and the weirdest of times.

Our most recent development is dating. She has a boyfriend. A steady. They're going out. They're hooked up. Whatever the current lingo is, there is a boy who is significant in her life. He's the cat's meow. It on a stick. Her main squeeze. You get the idea.

What I'm most proud of her for in this little tale of puppy love is that she clearly set her boundaries in the beginning. There is a history between the two of them and she told him right off, "I'm messed up. I have problems. Decide right now if you want to stick around, because I can't have my heart broken." This is how you do it. Bow down.

At first it was sort of adorable. Their names rhyme. He brings her chocolate. He cute-asked her to prom (which is another whole teenage cultural trend that has gotten out of control, but is beside the point right now). And then it started to get serious. And I have started to freak out.

She loves to tell me things. Lots of things. Sometimes too many things. She told me the exact moment that she knew she loves him. And she was so deliriously happy about it. "We were riding back and this song came on and it was the first song we slow-danced to and I just looked at him and he looked at me and right then I just knew I knew how I felt I knew that I love him." Yes, read that without taking a breath because that's how she said it.

My heart broke a little. Because I am happy for her, but I can't completely share in her excitement. She's not my girlfriend, she's my baby girl. And this specific moment of happiness won't last. It's pure and new and so sweet and I know of all the heartache that's to come. I don't want her heart broken. I don't want her hurt. I want her to ride this little cloud of bliss into the sunset.

Over Mother's Day weekend she shared lots of stories and feelings with me. A big topic of conversation was the fact that the Three Little Words were said the week before (per my advice, she made him say them first. I repeat, bow down.). The cynic in me wanted to vomit while the mom in me wanted to cry. I don't think either was the reaction she had hoped for.

While we were having lunch she said, "You can ask me anything you want. If there's anything you want to know, I'll tell you." This was in relation to the boy because he is all she wants to talk about. But I don't want to know. I don't want to ask. I don't want certain images in my head. I don't need to know, it's none of my business, and for Pete's sake!! I'm your mother and we don't talk like girlfriends!!!! If you tell me how you feel when he kisses you I will have to pour acid in my ears!!!!!!!!!!

So I asked her if she's ever smoked a cigarette. Or been drunk outside the house. Or inhaled. These are safe topics. These are questions I'm somewhat prepared to hear the answers to. These are things that I can freak out about and she will understand and her feelings won't be hurt. I don't have to be fake-supportive or lie about how sweet it is. These are very clearly bad things and we both understand this.

I don't want to be the cynic. I don't want to crush her little spirit. But, damn it, boys are icky and she needs to put a lid on this until she's 30. Or until I die. I reserve the right to change my mind about either limit at any time.


Anonymous said...

Darn it, where's the "like" button. I'm not a parent, reading this though, I can't be sure if I want to be one or if I want to run away and bury my head in the sand. I guess maybe that's what being a parent feels like....

Kat said...

Being a parent is like being bi-polar. I wouldn't trade it for anything except the brain cells that have already been sacrificed.

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