Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Defining Moment

Do you wake up one day and realize you’ve become your mother?  Is it a gradual transition?

Today was a snow day.   For me, snow day=get things done day.   As my morning progressed I formed my plans for the day.   I emptied the file cabinet and organized the items needed for 2010 taxes, filed away 2010 utilities, etc.   I had a Doctor’s appointment at 1:30, so I started making plans revolving around that end of town:  I’ll return that sweater to that store since it’s around the corner, I’ll go to the DMV and fix my license plate, I need to go to the post office, the grocery store…you get the idea.

Around 11 a.m., after I have showered and readied myself for the day, Hannah approaches and asks if she can go sledding with Mo (her girlfriend) and T (the boy she wants to profess her love to).  I grant her permission, reminding her that she needs to be home by 1:00 to watch her brother so I can go to the Doctor…realizing her life sucks, but she’ll get over it.

After multiple texts with Mo, Hannah comes to the realization that there isn’t enough room in the car for everyone invited.   Insert me being selfish.  Insert me wanting to get all MY stuff done.  My child is 13 and growing up fast, I need to stop being selfish, do her a solid and take her and her friends sledding.  It is NOT ALL ABOUT ME. So I man up, scrap the morning plans, and offer to drive all of them, including Bubba, to the hill. 

(Let me interject that Hannah’s feet have not only grown out of her snow boots, but her snow pants were 6 inches too short.  She’s KILLIN me with her growth spurts.)

Mo and T show up at our house a few minutes later and Hannah introduces me to T, a very tall, lanky, fun, smiley, braced filled, boy.
Confident enough to talk to adults, great. 

Cute, bonus. 

Looks strangely like my husband as a youth, a little weird.

We chat it up and are all standing behind the car, putting sleds in the back hatch when the subject of socks comes up.   T pulls up his pant leg to show us his socks, when it dawns on me, HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL T has extremely hairy legs.  This child has gone through puberty. 

***You know in the movies when the main character has some sort of stunning flash sequence of images race through their mind?  I stood there for all of 10 seconds and hundreds of images flashed through my brain…Hannah dating.  Hannah driving.  Hannah at prom.  Hannah getting married.  Hannah having her first baby.*** 

This man-child in front of me, is Hannah’s first love interest.  THIS is the beginning.  This is the start of boyfriends, dating, heartbreak, etc.  I AM OLD.  When did I grow up?  Why do I have to be the adult? 

One o’clock rolls around, the kids finish sledding and I bring them back to our house.  The plan has always been for me to go to the doctor, and Mo and T to go home until I am done.  This is our RULE.  NO BOYS, or any friends for that matter, in the house when we (the parents) are gone.

Hannah asks if I can bend the rule and T can stay for a few minutes to “help her with her homework project.”  All the while I’m getting the HELP SISTAH OUT vibe going on from Hannah.

Do I act like my mother?  I am at a crossroads. 

I agree that T can stay, for a FEW minutes.  The kids go to the basement to take their wet clothes off and I call Hannah back upstairs, into the kitchen.   My defining moment.  HERE IS WHERE I CHOOSE NOT TO BE LIKE MY MOTHER.

My exact words to Hannah: “I am letting T stay to help you with your project.  I have asked you to let him stay for a short time frame.  There is to be no kissing.  You are not to have sex.  Do you understand me?” I tell myself I need to open the discussion and say the words out loud so we are all comfortable with them now.

Hannah looks at me and laughs, then makes the promise that she will not kiss or have sex.  I hobble out the door, confident with my girl and her choices.  I am ancient.


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NanaGo said...

I'm proud of you! I am also glad you printed this story, you will enjoy it when Hannah DOES start kissing. As a mom of 4 daughters & 1 son (all are in their 30's now) I can't remember those moments exactly. I wish I had recorded them at the time and NOW that they are parents I can play those moments back for them so they know they are not alone.

Ana's World said...

Awesome job! You open the door and keep it open and that's where communication starts. I didn't have that with my mother and didn't open the door with my daughter and I regret it. You're a good mom. Trust!