Guess Who’s Back?

I’ve sort of been MIA lately, and for that I certainly do apologize. I love writing this blog and I especially love the friends that I’ve made on here. As many of you know, we moved my daughter into her new apartment last weekend. Her school doesn’t begin until August 1st, so she came back home with us for the week. She long ago promised to be the lead actress in a short film that my youngest daughter’s boyfriend is making for a horror festival. So tomorrow, after the last bit of fake blood has been scrubbed from her hair and after the neighbors, hopefully, stop wondering if we’re making a snuff film at my house, she’ll travel to her own home. Alone.

I remember in her sleepless, first weeks of life, exhaustedly holding her squalling, fitful form at four a.m. and counting on my fingers how old I would be when she turned 18. My lack of sleep begged me to be released from the fretful bondage of motherhood. As her sleep patterns normalized, granting me enough rest to return to the land of the living, I stopped counting the years and the days until she would become independent of me. Instead of my nemesis, she became my daughter; my little girl who loved horses and nature, going barefoot and doing things herself. Like all mothers, I’ll say that she was an amazing child. She is a natural leader and a cohesive force among her friends. She’s talkative, charming, hilarious, beautiful, and has a definite “it” factor. Of course, these are also things that a mother would say.

A good number of her teen years were similar to her first few weeks of life. She stretched and struggled to find her place in the world and like a new mother I toiled to find the right words and actions to comfort her and help her grow into a person worth knowing. Of course, there were screaming matches, and boys who were wrong for her and boys who were right. There were arguments about curfews, piercings, and multi-colored hair, and a rocky stint where she painted her bedroom ceiling black and blasted death metal to prove her defiance to the world. There were groundings and lectures, and lectures and groundings. Like in her early infancy, there were even a few nights that I found myself counting the years until her 18th birthday.

And then magically, sometime shortly after she turned 17, her angst dissipated, the dust cleared, her hair slowly found its way from magenta to its natural blond and she painted her room a soft, buttery, yellow. We started hanging out again and stopped arguing. She even confessed, during one of our late night talks, that she thought I was doing a pretty good job as her mom. By the time she turned 18, the thought of giving her a set of luggage and a bus ticket didn’t even cross my mind. This was a good thing because after graduation, she opted to attend a university only a few miles from our house and to save money she’s lived at home.

Tomorrow when she makes the solitary journey to her new home, my heart will ache when we say goodbye, but it will also soar with excitement for the both of us. It’s her time to fulfill her dream of becoming a doctor, and my time to write my stories and create new memories with my youngest daughter.

So, to my beautiful oldest daughter and friend, I wish you a safe journey. To my readers, I thank you for sticking with me during this sketchy period. Finally, to my neighbors, though you may hear a few screams and see something that looks like blood in my driveway, all is well! I promise!

BY THE WAY…

Do you like free books? If you answered yes to this question, then you owe it to yourself to visit the lovely and generous Deborah Bryan, over at The Monster in Your Closet. Deb is giving away three copies of Sonya Sones’s Stop Pretending, plus one free paperback of your choice (under $20). Please click on her blog for details! AND while you’re there, check out her other posts. She’s a wonderful writer and I’m certain you’ll enjoy her uplifting blog!

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16 thoughts on “Guess Who’s Back?

  1. First, YES! Short horror films FTW!

    Second, YES! Thank you so much for everything in that last paragraph. I wish I could give you a ginormous hug, as well as cookies made by someone with baker’s thumb. (They have that, right? Like green thumb, but for cookies?)

    Finally, and more substantively . . .
    Oh, man. This post is so raw, heartfelt and eloquent, I felt like I was walking through the moments it encompasses with you. You’re a few years further down Motherhood Lane than I am, so it’s wonderful, too, to get this glimpse at you as mom to a daughter barely younger than Li’l D now . . . then further on to the steps beyond. I get the sense that many years down the road, I’ll watch Li’l D–not so little then anymore–packing his bags and think, “I remember anticipating this feeling when I read that entry by Sprinkles.” I wonder how closely they’ll align.

    I guess what I’m saying is that this is a beautiful entry from a beautiful soul. My heart aches to imagine you sending off your eldest, but it seems like you’ve done it in such a way that she’ll always come back to you physically, when she can . . . while knowing that, in each of your hearts, you’re closer than physical space could ever allow you to be.

    • “A baker’s thumb!” This made me laugh! I’m not a bad baker, but I really don’t enjoy it. My personal version of a baker’s thumb is one with several 2nd degree burns, a wet bandaid and some neosporin! (Ick! What an image!) I will very gladly receive cookies from someone with a more professional baker’s thumb than my own!

      When people tell you that your children grow up so fast, believe them. In retrospect, it felt like birth to
      childhood lasted only a few years!

      Thank you so much for your sweet comments!! 🙂

  2. So nice to have you back! I agree with Deborah – this is so touching, so beautifully written. Your love for and pride in your daughter comes through with every word. Good luck to both of you!

  3. This post is achingly beautiful. I’ve struggled with the decision about whether and when to have a child, and reading your touching thoughts on motherhood reminds me why I keep considering it.

    • Hi Keenie Beanie! I never thought I would have children. My first was a big surprise! Mothering is an incredible amount of work, but most of the time it’s very satisfying. 🙂 Thank you for your kind comments. 🙂

  4. I can relate to your post, Sprinkles, but I could never have put it down as perfectly as you did. Three cheers to you and your ginourmous part in raising an incredible human being. Because of you and your patience and kindness we will have a much needed social-conscious woman who could change the world. Thank you Sprinkles,

  5. Great post. I’m hoping my kids skip the teenage angst. I don’t have the energy to deal with rebellion.

    I hope to see the horror film soon in a theater near me. Or at least on a YouTube near me.

    • My oldest was the queen of angst; my youngest has been an easygoing sweetie from birth. She even loved middle school! You never know, The Fonz and Optimist Prime may just skip the rebellion! I’ve always heard that boys are a little easier during the teen years. 🙂

  6. Sure. Boys wait to go crazy when they are 18 – 23, the age of the highest testoserone and violence among men. Also, don’t you think there is more fear in raising a girl? And less protectiveness around rough and tumble, can’t-get-pregnant boys? Anyway, that’s what others always said when I was growing up. Beautiful tribute to your maturing daughter, Sprinkles.

    So…like. Whaddareya gonna do with the empty room? Yoga retreat? Sewing room? Grow some good pot?

    • Your last sentence made me laugh HARD! 24 years ago, or so, I would have probably considered your last suggestion!!

      It’s still going to be Kalah’s room, but it has my treadmill, weights, yoga mat, and an exciting collection of workout dvds on her empty shelf. So I guess you could call it an exercise room, although I seem to be avoiding it!

      My friends with boys have told me they’re easier. I think it might be because they don’t get PMS and they can’t get knocked up!

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