The sun is finally out today, gloriously waking me up after our recent week with that crazy nor’easter that hit us. Grey skies and down pours are not my favorite, especially for a whole week!! Rain never is unless it’s a bright light rain shower during the Summer.
My objective to write today was to poke fun at the fact that my oldest daughter has a better social life than I. She was out till 10:30 last night! But now that I sit here typing it isn’t coming to me that way anymore. It struck me that my baby is growing up more than I want to realize.
It started a handful of weeks ago. My oldest daughter, 9, was invited to her school bff’s painting party at this quaint painting studio in our town. We are no strangers to school parties or playdates, and we love love the weekend ones for the children my kids really love hanging out with. So off we went. Now, we aren’t the type of parents to dump our real young kids at events, nowhere. Not at your house, playground, party center or anywhere..not even on playdates ; we hang out with them as added chaperones really. Her friends love us, well me, and this is how it is. This bff’s Mom knows me, we have met a handful of times and she os super sweet.
Well, as that studio started to fill up with her friends, I noticed that the kids weren’t babies anymore. Like this crew was a lot older than a month ago at my daughter’s party. So I checked in with my daughter to make sure she was good and wanted me to stay. She said to stay. I am not sure what came over me asking, but I felt like she was in a good place. The studio was a safe place with her friends there, the parents of the bday girl and the studio workers were grandmother types. Then as the studio filled up with all the kids I took party pictures, then figured to ask her if she wanted me to stay again. The party was for an hour, why not ask. I could grab a coffee and be right back. I know she will say no, reassuring my cool Mom status.
My daughter replied to me that I should go. With a great big grin.
Ugh. The emotions I felt were insane. And for me, a person who loves to be free and a mom who really enjoys her kids taking steps to growing up, this shocked me. I felt rejected(stupidly), elated(cause I could grab a coffee then get home to be with my family down the street) and I felt preoccupied with guilt and worry that something would happen to her cause I asked. It was strange for me, but I swallowed it and tried to ignore them all, except the elation. It worked, but it was only an hour. And when I picked her up she was beaming with all the party updates she couldn’t wait to share with us.
Giving her a longer cord felt good, but a part of me felt her growing up out of control or away from me, which hurt. But this is normal right??
Let us flash to yesterday morning. The girls had a half day, so we did our usual fun half day girlie afternoon grabbing lunch wherever they choose. They chose Tripoli pizza so they could grab a sweet bakery treat. They are smarties. By the time I got back to the house, my work emails were drowning my inbox. Usually I check them on my phone while I am out, but figured Fridays are slower so eh this hour is mine. Well, in the midst of project proposals and security updates was an email for my oldest daughter. She was asked to go to a 7:45PM movie, The Book of Life, by her school bff (with Mom).
When I first read the email I was mixed with emotion, cause like I said my daughter has never really been out without me, my husband or a family member watching her in a place like that and my youngest daughter is going to freak cause she has been talking about that movie for weeks. Not that they haven’t done things separately, but not on a whim like this. This was a first not birthday, not daytime playdate type of fun. Also, I was wondering if 9 yrs old was too young to hang one on one like this that late, even with a parent chaperone. Her bedtime is 8! Well, I decided to grow a pair, and let my daughter go cause I want her to have fun. I told her and…
Ugh what a storm I created with that decision!!
The best part was my oldest daughter was on cloud nine. She immediately said yes to going and started prepping her stuff (a wallet with emergency contacts and a movie gift certificate we had). Cute right?? Oh to be nine! My youngest, 7, however, threw a shitstorm of rage at me because, well, I understood she felt left out and slighted no one asked her. Also, I am not a mom who invites her other kid out to her other kid’s events unless I have no support. Being let down is ok in my book, disappointment is a part of life and if I keep shielding them, they’ll be brats. And my kids are no whiny brats.
So this left me to deal with my giant baby girl, who is stubborn as a mule arguing why this wasn’t fair. But thankfully, I am more stubborn than her (and a foot taller, tg!), and got through to her. P h e w.
Four hours later, I finally catch up to my feelings letting my daughter go to the movies without us. I couldn’t help myself with feeling sad. I was wearing my big smile, pumping her up and telling her the rules, but inside I was feeling her let go. Silly right?
Our whole night, at home, was planned for her baby sister to have movie night with us. She chose Ratatouille. Great, a movie I like and can lose myself in. The Pixar intro comes on, where they talk about their draft session at the café..where all their movie ideas flourished, and how they created Wall-e. My youngest blurts, ‘awe man, Ava loves Wall-e. She’d love to see this part.’. And that jolts my nerves, and I lose it feeling nervous about her being out.
Oh my God, is this what my future holds with my kids? A constant concern while they’re out of my sights??? Egad what is happening to me??
Well. She flew (from the nest) for the first time didn’t she?
My oldest daughter is a beautiful girl full of wonder and sweetness. This girl has a sense of humor and smarts like no one else. I look at her and feel proud. But she is still a baby in my eyes. I would never hold her back, ever. I promised myself when she was born that I’d always let her be free. No helicoptering. She took that bonding feeling to heart. Always smiling and laughing with us from her birth. When she started to walk, there was no intro of the foot to floor, let’s hobble to learn. It was, ‘oh look my feet touch the ground… LET’S RUN!’. Everywhere! Mwahaha. <– that was how she’d laugh running from me. Seriously.
I have always allowed my kids to be kids, happy in my safety but happy in their beings. And now I feel conflicted because I feel like I was lying to myself that I could be the cool Mom without those insane attachment feelings like Bev from The Goldberg’s. Did I just reference her like I would turn into her? Oh God no. I guess I never gave much thought that I’d feel this way. Well, maybe I had, but not till they were in Middle School or older. When teens normally go out without their mom and dad for fun.
It has been a strange night digesting my rationale with my feelings.
I need a hug.