Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Growing Up

My daughter is halfway to her 16th  birthday.  When she was younger, I wanted to do everything for her. I treated her like she was made of glass.  I would give the other  kids a hard time on the playground if they weren't nice to her. I'll never forget when she was in second or third grade she told me, "I'm not going to call you mommy anymore, I'm going to call you mom."  It made me a little sad, but I got over it.  I was so tied into her that when she went to preschool at age 4, I would stare at the clock, waiting for her to come home from school.  My world at the time revolved around taking care of  her.  What I wouldn't give now for a day with 25 hours in it! As she's gotten older, I've had to learn to distance myself somewhat.  It's a slippery slope, you want to help, but how much is too much?   When she had to do a project making a lighthouse in elementary school, we went to the hobby store and bought some supplies.  When I went to the school to see what all the other kids made, I was astounded by the lighthouses with running water and electrical wiring.  They most definitely were not made by the kids.  I told one of her teachers that I thought the lighthouses looked pretty good.  The teacher said quietly back to me, "well, we know which ones were made by the parents."  I am proud to say my daughter did hers all on her own.  I'm about as creative as a pin cushion, I couldn't have helped her make it look professional even if I tried!   The other day she and I were discussing something and my hubby was in the room.  He looked over at us and said, "I  really don't understand "girl talk."  He never had a sister so most of the stuff we talk about is foreign to him!  My daughter and I have a great relationship - we are not each other's best friends, but we are good  friends.  With my new found medical problems she has been a terrific source of comfort.  She is amazing with her little brother.  She and her older brother have a great relationship. I'm glad she feels comfortable enough to share things with me.  I try not to ask too many questions, sometimes she just wants a listener.  I try to dispense my motherly advice only when asked.  One of the things I tell her the most is, "this is what I would do, but you're the one that has to make the decision."   I can't sit on her shoulder and make decisions for her, she has to learn on her own.  There are lots of temptations for teenagers out there - smoking, drugs, drinking, etc.  It's downright scary.  From here on out,  all  I can do is hope that she makes the right choices as she heads towards adulthood.  Isn't that what all parents want for their children?

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