My 19 year old daughter showed up at 6:30 this morning after staying out all night. My sister with whom she lives was worried and upset. I was worried and upset. We did the usual talking points…….and went off to get ready for work.
I’m sitting here at my desk trying to sort out my feelings about all of this.
This is a precarious time for my daughter and me. Legally she is an adult. She can vote, drive and obtain credit cards. In theory, she’s old enough to make important decisions that will affect her life for years or even a lifetime. She is physically mature. In fact her body belies her youth and screams grown woman. She is intelligent, well rounded and socially adept. With all of that said, so was I at her age.
It’s amazing how much we didn’t know when we thought we knew everything. In hindsight the miniscule amount of information we know about ourselves and the world is staggering.
Frankly, I’m horrified. Sitting here with my forty-one year old cache of life skills and experience, I can’t help but be concerned for my child. Yes, that’s right, “my child.” As long as we live on this planet together, that’s what she will be to me. My child. Much of what we do as parents is geared toward protecting and guiding our children. It’s engrained in us so much so – that we see danger and snares a mile away. When danger appears we want to scream, “Watch out for that car, get out of the way!” But to the young person our warnings come across as unwarranted and over reactive.
She’s too old for a spanking or a preteen beat down. She’s too young to be told, “Peace out, figure it out ya damn self!” So, all I know to do is pray and talk to her when I can, and hang the hell up when I can’t. But it’s hard.