After avoiding it for a few weeks, Madison and I finally sat down and had a long talk. About things I was hoping would disappear. About things I didn’t want to confront with her, and about things she needed to address. And after about an hour with everything laid out – we came up with solutions, fixed a few problems, and resolved a few irresolvable issues. That’s the just of it. The rest? Was an exchange of words and tears and problems, and things that I just want to toss my hands in the air on because trying to raise a teenage girl? Is kicking me. Over and over and over and over again.
It boils down to one thing, for me atleast: I don’t want to let go.
Having worked so hard to get to this point, I failed to prepare myself, or calculate in a time when I would have to let go. Unconsciously assuming that once I got them back, it would be home free. That things would go back to “Normal” and somehow we would make it out the other end. I failed to add in about 10 years and the constant changing of these things called kids. Or teenagers. Or anything else really. I pretty much failed to forget that kids? They grow, and change, and with it their thoughts, and wants, and needs really, change too.
I pretty much failed at realizing that there would be a day where I would have to let go. Not because I want to. But because I need to. Because they need me to.
Years ago, I ran into the issue of letting go. Its not something that comes easy to me. Im not sure if it’s the way its put, the meaning of it, or what it means to me. Whatever it is, letting go is not something I prefer to do a lot of. And its certainly not something that comes naturally. It came to the point where I agreed to just not get close to people, so I wouldn’t HAVE to let go. And it worked. For a while. Until it didn’t anymore. And somehow, against all my fighting it back – certain people have worked their way into my life, and I can do nothing more than hang onto them with all I have – and hope. That the day will not come when I am forced to let go. Again.
And here we sit. Across the table from a bright eyed girl with a future laid out ahead of her. With out a lot of effort I know she will carve out a future for herself. I can see it, but I cant get over the fact that in my eyes – she is still a little girl. I see her. Yes. I see all fifteen years of her. But I still see her as the little girl who would run and laugh and squeal with excitement…and when she asks for something any fifteen year old would want, I have to laugh because isn’t she just eight? Shes not OLD enough for that! And in some small way, when I refuse to “Let go” I am holding her back.
Its not intentional. But its what has happened. I see it. I know it. And maybe I don’t want to let go. Because of what it means. I don’t want to let her go. I don’t want her to grow up, and branch out and…well…yea.
Part of me wants to be selfish. And tie her up. And not let her GO and experience life as a fifteen year old. I say its all in the name of wanting to protect her, and that might be some small part of it. I don’t want her making mistakes, and getting her heart broke. But I cant protect her from it all. And I know shes outgrowing the small cage I have placed her in. I know its time.
When I signed up for this, I never saw the day coming. I never saw her growing up and forming opinions, and outsmarting me. I never saw her turning from a little girl into, well, not a little girl.
I suck at this. Truly. I suck at letting go, and if there is one thing that parenting is all about its letting go. Letting go of your own wants and needs – in the name of the child. And while I know that most of it is in my head, my heart still argues that she isn’t old enough. Shes just a kid. Even though. Even though shes not.
So this is me. Trying to tell myself. That its ok. It will be ok. Even if I don’t fully believe that it will be. It has to be. I have to believe it will be. Because to me, she will always be that little girl.