With summer looming ahead of us, my daughter and I prepare for a lot more “togetherness” time—which is both good and bad. I look forward to spending more time together when we don’t have to fuss over homework or place as much strain on our time.
I enjoy lazy pajama days when we can sleep in and watch back to back episodes of Gilmore Girls.
It’s nice not to be an underpaid chauffeur who rushes from track practice to horseback riding to sleepovers to movies to fill in the blank here. The life of a teenage girl is nothing if not a demand for stimulation. As a single parent, you get to do all the stimulating.
Plus I’m glad when I don’t have to police her time so much. As in, "You can only use Facebook from 7:30 – 9:00,” and “We need to spend more time on math and less time on texting.” I tactfully leave out the part that a certain boy’s number seems to come up an awful lot on the Verizon bill. Summer means we can both relax.
I have to say, though, I miss the days when she wanted to spend time with me. There was a time when I thought, if only I can get five minutes to myself, I’ll be able to breathe. Most moms who are doing it solo can relate. People said that eventually I’d miss the days when she had separation anxiety and couldn’t let me out of her sight. My sisters said someday I’d want her to be clinging on to me again. I didn’t think it could ever be possible.
And yet, here I am.
“Would you like to watch a movie with me?”
“No, I’m talking to some friends online, but thanks.”
“Do you want to go shopping? I’ll take you to Old Navy. It’ll be a Girls’ Day Out!”
“Can one of my friends come? We can meet up with you later.”
“Want to cuddle?”
“Not right now. I’m IM’ing with Kenzie.”
I realize it’s normal and natural.
When I am very lucky though, and usually when I least expect it, she’ll snuggle up into my arms briefly while I’m cooking or writing and bury her head into my shoulder. I smell the vanilla of her new body spray. But underneath it, I can still smell just the faintest hint of baby shampoo and crayons. I inhale deeply. I make sure to cherish those times because they might be gone soon too.
copyright © 2009 Tiia Jones