Yakima Mom

All Things Mom

That Girl

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The one I love so much.

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The one who took my heart and crushed it.

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The one who healed herself and made my soul whole again.

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Baby Girl. Kennedycakes. Sissy.

She’s stepping out. Going to university. In CALIFORNIA.

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She’s doing it.

I’m not quit sure how I will survive.

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Proud and sad at the same time. A cheerleader and a griever.

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You go, Baby Girl.

Grandma? Did you say Grandma??!

I recently signed up for the gym again. I’ve been going two or three times a week, and am just starting to feel a little more comfortable among the grunting, sweaty behemoths and the girls with the beautiful arms. Today I noticed a young 20-something man looking my way as I stretched some sore muscles. He approached, and I assumed he was going to tell me I was doing something incorrectly.

“Hi. Are you Jared’s grandma?” he asked.

indexAll I heard was GRANDMA.

While my confidence and ego began to quietly implode, I heard my voice say, “What?”

So he repeated himself. “Are you Jared’s grandma?”

I think I smiled one of those mouth smiles when your eyes don’t move. “No, no grand children yet.”

GRAND effing MA??

He went on. “Wow, her hair is just like yours. You look just like her!”

What is one supposed to say?

“Nope. Not yet.” More fakey smile.

He went back to his 4,000 bar bell, and I told myself this was no reason to go straight home to bed. It took some serious talk to do another 60 seconds of plank and  30 more crunches before heading to the bike.

Grandma?

I began to rationalize. The guy must’ve been mid-twenties… his friend Jared would’ve be about the same… born when I was 25, which meant I would have had Jared’s mom or dad when I was what…12?

The only explanation I could conceive was that, clearly, the young man was an idiot, and his mother hadn’t taught him, 1) Never ask a woman if she is pregnant, and 2) Never ask a woman who is younger than 80 if she’s someone’s grandmother.

I have decided I need to ensure my own boys are aware of such indiscretions, as I’d hate to make another 50 year old woman feel the way I did.

I will also be calling my hair stylist, first thing tomorrow morning.

Eighteen

Our daughter is turning 18 this weekend. Eighteen.

I helped her vote last night. Her graduation tassel came today. This time next year, I will be trying to ignore the K-shaped hole in our home that will be left when she goes off to school.

I feel like I should be doing better; I’ve done this before. Her older brother is now a junior at university. I hardly ever see him. I still miss him terribly, but I survived, and no longer spend my days wondering what he’s doing.

I guess I was thinking this time wouldn’t be so hard.

K and I had a tough couple of years… too many arguments, too many days in which my attempts at conversation were met with monosyllables, sometimes even just grunts. For more than a year, she was locked behind a wall I just couldn’t penetrate, leaving her alone and depressed and me bewildered and resentful.

We got help, and about six months ago, I began getting back my girl. Now she makes me laugh daily. Her humor can be cutting and dry, and she can be wickedly sarcastic, blunt, and opinionated, but, well, she’s 18, and I love her to death.

Of course I’ve loved her all along—she is, after all, my baby girl—but as the days tick by bringing the inevitable leaving of the nest, I want to cling to the little girl she was, and this new young woman that she’s become. I just got her back from behind that wall, and I’m not ready for her to go. I want to be silly and laugh with her about the weird thinkengs she finds hysterically funny. I want to dance with her and hang out with her, just a little while longer.

But.

I’m still not sure how it happened, but in the blink of an eye, my baby became 18.

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