Victoria may be the one who has just turned eleven, but I seem to be going through just as many growing pains. She seems to like hers but I’m not enjoying mine a bit.
She is off in Nebraska this week, keeping Tiffany and gang company. I talked to her on the phone twice and she couldn’t wait to get off the phone with me. I think I’m annoying. I’m certainly not missed.
I don’t know this person who has stolen my little girl from me. She cares about fashion and considers herself too old for make believe. I embarrass her. I bore her. She wants to get a subscription to Glamour and learn how to wear makeup. She reads Twilight and wants to buy a laptop. She’s eleven going on twenty, full speed.
I remember the year I changed on my mother. We were close the whole time I was growing up and then we weren’t. I always thought it was because I’m a survivor of a whole gaggle of abuses (not by her) and they had a profound affect on me. I thought it was because I was so badly bullied in school (that was the year the whole student body had a plan to set my hair on fire). I thought it was because we were so poor (I slept on a cot, with the faucet dripping so the pipes wouldn’t freeze). I thought it was because my childhood was so horrid and she was so clueless and I was so damaged.
I never thought it would happen to my child. I thought we were different. I have dedicated the past eleven years to making this a wonderful family to grow up in. We travel and laugh and play and learn and volunteer and talk and talk and talk. And suddenly that’s not enough. Like it or not, my child is outgrowing me. Not in the sense of needing me to teach her and guide her and provide for her, but in the sense of her being my little girl.
I am a puzzle piece that no longer fits. And so, just as Victoria must change as part of her healthy evolution, I must change as her mother. Like it or not, my job description is now altered and I have to become something new, too.
And I’ll do that, and I’m sure I’ll find things to love in that new role and handle it fine. But first, I’m doing a little mourning. I’ve tried to push past it and I just can’t. I need to feel this.
I miss my daughter.
I miss the days when I was her favorite person and knew everything. I miss my little girl who had her own unique sense of style and didn’t care what anybody thought of her. I miss her telling me she wanted to live with me forever. I miss leading monster parades and dress up parties with Victoria as the leader of the pack. I miss her asking to do more homeschool and being eager to please. I miss my sidekick.
I posted about this last week on the Magical Childhood blog. I tried to make it sentimental and sweet. I tried to see the good in it and put a positive spin on it, and to end on a fun note. But the fact of the matter tonight is that I don’t feel like it’s fun right now. It’s healthy and necessary, and tomorrow I’ll focus on the younger kids and the bright sides and all the platitudes that I endlessly give myself.
Tonight I am sipping Southern Comfort and missing my little girl.
I know I will love this next daughter who is replacing her, but tonight I am giving myself permission to be sad.