It has been a rough year for me and my daughter. Really rough. We butted heads more times than I care to admit. She was asked to leave our home more than once. She made questionable decisions, bad life choices and pushed us away. But a miracle happened. I don’t know how, or why. But she came back to us. Our bound doubled in strength. Our relationship took on a new aspect, one of friendship. After making it through the grief of losing her cousin, a task only she herself could do, she has came out the other side stronger, wiser, more mature. She is re-enrolled in college and plans on moving into her dorm on January 2nd. She is excited for her future and ready for the challenges that lie ahead. My little girl has become a grown-up. A living, breathing grown-up. And I LIKE her. I mean, of course I love her and always will, but I actually LIKE her. I like to talk to her. I like to be with her. I will always be her mother, but I am now, in my mind and hers I hope, a friend.
A while back, I was in the kitchen cooking. She was the only other person home. She came out, hopped up on the counter and started talking. We talked for over an hour as I made cookies. It was probably the best, most honest, wonderful talk we have ever had. I talked to her like an adult, a peer, not just her mom. I realized that she was going to be just fine. Better then fine, she was going to be amazing. She admitted to making some bad choices, and I admitted that maybe I could have handled them better then I did. But we reconnected, our bond growing stronger. It was…beyond words.
I am excited to see the person she will become. To watch her mature and grow is the greatest gift I could have ever asked for. I have watched her evolve and change, and am joyed to be able to say I’m proud of her. I am sad to see her leave for college, as I will miss her. I don’t see her a lot now, but at least I know she’s ‘around’. But I will miss that urgent call as I am leaving work begging for McDonalds. (OK, her brother might do that, but he is less likely to do that).
There were times this year when I didn’t think I would see this day. It was scary, it was heart breaking. But now, I am at peace. I am ready to watch my little girl take on the world.