Sunday, March 30, 2008

Traveling Teen Returns to the Nest

It seems that most of the women's blogs I read are written by mothers of small children. I haven't run across too many blogs by old boomers like me whose kids are (almost) grown. (I'm sure they are there, but I just haven't found them.) This morning I checked in with my new fave, Rita Arens at Surrender Dorothy. Her post on a very busy day with a small child brought tears to my eyes. I am not exactly sure if they were sentimental tears or regular tears brought on by remembering the exhaustion of those years -- probably both.

I loved the babyhood and toddler phases. I really did. I was a lot younger then. Now, it makes me tired looking at mothers with young children. DH asks me often if I miss having little kids around the house. Answer is: NO! Not for a minute. Hardly ever. Not really. Well, only occasionally.

Anyway, I love reading the mommybloggers. It brings back delicious memories I can carry around and savor. Some days I really need those sweet memories to remind myself of how much I adored everything about DD from the moment I first looked into her eyes on her Birth Day. I still love her just as much. I really do. But, she's 18. She's a Senior. I'd describe that more fully but the moms who've been there already know and the ones who aren't there yet won't believe that it can happen to them. (I didn't.)

This week DD was away for several days on a class trip. She never called home but she did send text messages a few times a day. She reserved her limited telephone time for truly significant people like her wonderful boyfriend (WBF). I missed her. I didn't miss the drama. I didn't miss that moment of holding my breath when she walks in the door from work, waiting to see if we are in the presence of the Lovely Young Woman or the Hormonal Post-Adolescent. That makes a big difference how a poor mom is to respond to an entrance. When she's in a good mood, it is okay to say, "Hey. Sweetie, how was your day?" When in the presence of The Other One it is better simply to hide.

Anyway, I did miss her. The house is not the same without her. It was quiet and peaceful. We did not have one episode of drama all week. I could do what I wanted when I wanted. I was kind of a wreck. I would be okay for five minutes or so after I got a text message and then I'd start worrying again. I was excited to have her come home. I couldn't wait to hear the blow-by-blow descriptions of her experiences. Her take on travel is usually fascinating.... often incomprehensible but always utterly gripping.

We went to the airport to pick her up last night. I actually got a hug. A real one. These days usually the best I get is a tilted head to kiss the top of in order not to mess up make-up. In fact I got two hugs during the course of the evening. Could it be she was glad to see me? Perhaps I should not get carried away.

While she and WBF were stowing her suitcase (does one really need a suitcase the size of a steamer trunk for a three day trip??) in the car, one of her teachers came over to me and said, "Your daughter is such a lovely child." Whereupon, I beamed and agreed with her. Then she added, "It is so nice to be around a teenager who is that easy going, with never any drama and always so laid back."

I laughed and said, "Must be. I'd like to meet that kid." Teacher seemed confused. (Teacher is apparently not a parent.)

Hmmmm. What is the meaning?

A) Teacher exaggerated a bit to make mother feel good, and it worked.
B) DD actually does know how to behave without drama when necessary (typically this is not necessary when in the presence of parents) and was on her best behavior during this trip.
C) Mom was happy.
D) All of the above.

One thing is clear: DD got way too little rest this week and will be very tired today. I plan to make myself scarce.

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