Yakima Mom

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Archive for the tag “Daughters”

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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Untitled

There is no title for this post. It is too scattered, too random.

The neighbor “Boy” is playing his guitar in his garage. He’s 17. He thinks his future career is in music.

The chords-especially the long low ones- vibrate through my windows, nearly an acre away.

I don’t mind.

He is 17. His gorgeous blonde hair is dyed black. He has big dreams.

I have pictures of him when he is three or four, digging in the dirt with our boys. Cherry juice smeared across their faces.

Our oldest son is in New Orleans. He’s gone on an “Immersion;” a school-based service trip.

He’ll be gone all week. He leaves for University in just a few, short months.

Our daughter is on the couch, doing homework. She’s disappointed because I won’t take her driving right now.

She’s 15. She already drove 45 minutes today. I say I’m done for the day, I am relaxing now.

She says I can relax while she drives.

Ha.

I am feeling like I have missed something… that I’m not quite the parent that I believed I was.

I am not as good as I thought I was.

I’m sorry. I DID say this was pretty random.

This letting go is so hard.

Confession of a Marshmallow Mom

Our daughter got invited to go boating today. It’s the last weekend before she starts high school, she’s completed her summer reading logs and has already emailed them to the teacher, and it’s supposed to hit 100 degrees. There was no reason to say no… except my own jealousy.

So I agreed, with the condition that the clean her room.

Imagine my surprise when I went to wake her.

“It’s 7:00,” I said rather gruffly. “And I thought you were supposed to have cleaned your room so you could go.”

She just blinked at me.

I used to teach parenting classes. I do know about consequences and follow through and how kids need rules and boundaries. I know she needs to know that when Mom says something, she means it.

I’m also aware of the 14 year old tornado that would have been released if I had done what I should have done, and not let her go. I know how disappointed her friend would be, who I’m sure was only allowed to invite one friend and she chose Kennedy. But these are just excuses.

At times, I am a marshmallow mom, and I’m sure that has contributed to fact that our home often looks like a frat house, that our children often argue and fight, and the fact that I do way more chores than anyone else.

And I’m gonna crack down, really. I’ve already announced that stuff left in the living room will be dumped outside. With school starting this week, new chore responsibilities will go in to effect. Bedtimes will exist once again… at least for the younger two…

I post this not seeking any support or condolences, but more as a reminder to myself that I really do need to get a little tougher. Most of you are probably guilty of the same behavior, at least once in a while (except for you, Lisa Souers), so maybe you need the reminder too.

I’m also hoping that Kennedy will get wind of the post and suffer a little embarrassment at the picture. Feel free to send her a note 🙂

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