Never in my wildest imagination did I expect to spend thirteen years raising my daughter with the outcome being that I became the most irritating person on the planet. But here I am, the most annoying and offsetting person in the house. I have the power to repel my daughter simply by asking her to brush her teeth, pick up her clothes or wear sunscreen. I used to write down her little phrases and popular sayings as she grew up. These days it’s: “Mom. Stop.” But you have to draw it out when you say it: “Mom. Staaaaaaaaaaaoooppppp.”
The strangest part about this seemingly overnight shift in the house is that I always thought I wanted to have more time for myself. I chose being a stay at home mom to spend every minute with Charlie or around her, volunteering at school or running around helping her with projects and homework after pick up. Life has gone by so quickly. I have no regrets. As Charlie says.. “No Regerts” referencing a misspelled tattoo (not ours).
I could not imagine a time when Charlie wouldn’t want her mama. Even with her friends over I was a good mac and cheese maker and entertainer. . . until thirteen. Everything really changes. But I don’t like it. I miss my little girl who thought I was the greatest and didn’t see my flaws. I miss hearing ”mama” a hundred times. But that’s okay. Kids grow up and the separation from parents is a healthy and natural preparation for life. I just wasn’t prepared for it to happen so quickly.
On that note, let me apologize here for ever judging the mothers that dressed like their teenage daughters. I had no idea that after spending hours in the mall entertaining them as well as keeping their ever growing bodies clothed that not only would you not have time to shop for yourself elsewhere, you also most likely did not have any money left. So bring on the H&M, Pac Sun and Forever 21 trendy fashion. I am too tired to shop for myself anywhere else after waiting hours in these stores for Charlie and her friends. Again, my apologies for judging you.
On the bright side I have the gift of being here to watch my daughter grow up before my eyes. Tonight when we stopped for pizza Charlie was acting really goofy with our server who was indulging her and playing along. I said, “Do you remember this age? Did you get along with your mom?” And she said, “Yes, because my mom died around this age, but we always got along.” Her eyes met mine and we smiled through the tears that sprung up unexpectedly.
I am grateful to be the most annoying person in my daughter’s world. I have “No Regerts.”
This piece originally appeared at The Page Turner.