She is sleeping in her new room. This wonderful, beautiful girl whom I’ve been waiting to welcome to my home for 8 months. I thought we would connect the minute she was under my roof and I could know instantly what she needed the minute she needed it.
I could not have been more wrong if I had tried.
Friday night was like Christmas. I almost couldn’t sleep from the excitement of knowing she was coming. I had bought her so many new things and filled her room with special items I thought she would love. I was so overcome with emotion that I was almost at the point of tears for some of the day.
Saturday arrived and I drove out to get her and her things. As we packed the car I realized all too quickly, as I somehow knew already, that she was not the child I thought I knew.
Eight months ago, I drove my firstborn, the ‘Rory’ to my ‘Lorelei’ and one half of my heart to her new home – a university residence. I knew it would be an adventure but it took months before I realized that I didn’t know how much things would change. Somehow over the last year, my role in my daughter’s life has changed significantly.
She went off to do new things without me and I had to let her.
I was shocked when I soon learned how much this beautiful, strong and independent girl didn’t need me.
I knew she was strong-willed but I thought I would be the kind of mom she (and her new friends) would go to for help!
I was cool! I understood my girl and gave her unconditional love and support. After all, I had to share weekends with her father ever since she was a young child. I had become accustomed to her being away although that also came with a period of re-adjustment.
My attention is not what my daughter needed this year; It was my understanding and distance. Although the she never said it, it was clear that she embraced her new life away from me with open arms. No need for mom, unless it was for some extra cash or a quick review of an English essay.
I tried, oh how I tried, to give her space but it was hard.
I was her mother.
We had been a two-person tag team for a decade before her stepfather and brother came along.
I would literally do anything and everything for her. But she needed and wanted to do her own thing.
I’m sure it was bumpy. There were missed assignments that did not get completed because Mom was’t there to remind her. A few social events were overlooked because I didn’t know she had committed to attend, and then didn’t show up.
I have to take comfort in the fact that I knew she grew as a person. She realized that some promises she needs to keep.
She experienced things that I don’t know (and maybe I don’t want to know about), which made her a better person but she finished the year with new university and life skills.
She succeeded and thrived as a young adult. I have to acknowledge that her distance was the right thing for her to do.
Now that she’s under my roof for the summer, I hope to catch-up on lost time, to enjoy hearing about the experiences I knew nothing about and to hear about friends whom I’ve never met.
Will I ever be the cool mom again?
Maybe not, but I think she knows that my love for her is still unconditional and half of my heart is still hers.
Now, if only I could recover from the tattoo on her ankle I didn’t know existed until today.