I Keep Picking Fights with My Teen Daughter
I am a single mom of two tweenage daughters. My oldest daughter will turn 15 at the end of the week. It’s not really a big deal.
You know, as long as I don’t think about it.
In a year, she’ll be 16, and driving. A blink of an eye she’ll turn 18 and graduate. It’s getting harder and harder to ignore the fact that she won’t be mine forever.
And it scares me, and pisses me off.
I don’t want to let go. *stomping feet* *holding my breath* (ok, passing out now)
She’s a freshman, and a cheerleader. Our boys varsity basketball team just won our District Championship, and are on their way to State Champions. She is gone a lot, traveling with the team and the cheerleaders.
And while I am fiercely proud of her, oh god am I proud, I am also sad at seeing her grow, and become this person who is more hers than mine. She’s no longer my baby who refused to talk for so long because she had trained her brother to talk for her. She talks plenty on her own now.
I found myself picking fights, little fights, nit picking at her, this weekend. I am not proud of my actions. Pick up your things, you’re not pulling your weight around here, you can’t spend all day in bed. I was irritated, I was frustrated, I was upset. And none of those had to do with the cheer gear dropped on my living room floor, or the clothes left in the bathroom, or the fact that she was still in bed at 9:30 (she got home after midnight the night before). It had everything to do with she’s almost 15, which is almost 16, which might as well be 18 and gone.
I can’t say that I don’t want her to grow up. I’ve seen firsthand what a parent telling a child “I won’t let you grow up” can do to a child. Besides, there is already part of her that is no longer mine. While there’s a part of her that she doesn’t remember, the part when she was just a baby and I could cuddle with her, and laugh and giggle with her, when she was the light of everyone’s life, before she had to share the spotlight. That little girl will always be mine, even though there is very little trace of her left.
15 years ago, I gave her the name Meredith. Over the years she has been TaterBug, Tate, and Mere. This year her friends gave her the name Murry. To all her friends, to the basketball players, to the cheerleaders, to half the high school, she is Murry. Even her name isn’t really mine, but hers now.
She is my heart walking around outside my body. It’s been a real twist of fate that I have been so very very blessed to have been this amazing creature’s mother. It has been my job to take care of her and raise her for 15 years. It’s ironic that she’s taken care of me more often than she ever should have. She has been my cheerleader, my support, she believes in me when I find it so very hard to believe in myself.
She’s 15, which is almost 16, which might as well be 18. My time with her is limited. Once she’s 16, and can drive, she’s basically gone. I know I have three short years to get used to this whole letting her go bullshit. I can’t pretend that is "someday" because someday is right around the corner.
Photo Credit: suendercafe.