I Drive Away

Today she leaves the minivan to go to school with tears in her eyes. I want to lock the doors, not let her leave, peel away from Yelle Elementary School and never look back...

Her face stoic…  Eyes straight ahead straining to concentrate on something far off in the distance so she has an excuse not to look at her me…

She is upset.

She is probably a little mad too – and who would blame her? Being the oldest of four she often is held to a higher standard than everyone else who resides in this house.

My almost eleven year old often finds herself having to tow the line for her four –not quite yet civilized - siblings.  It’s a tough— sometimes even unfair -- place to be.

I know she feels her parents are hardest on her.

Maybe we are.

Today she leaves the minivan to go to school with tears in her eyes.  I want to lock the doors, not let her leave, peel away from the elementary school and never look back.

I want to hug and squish her to pieces and tell her that I am sorry that I have made her feel sad.  That I will do whatever it takes to never see another tear in her eye again…

That she does not have to go to school, clean her room, brush her teeth, take a shower, get her homework done, or fix her hair… Ever…

I want to tell her that I will forget the rules about being respectful to her parents and other adults. I will throw caution to the wind and let her have sleep-overs on school nights, ride her bike down one of Norton’s busiest streets in the dark, and rollerblade on Main Street without a helmet and knee pads.

I want to promise her that I will never make steak or cook peas and she can eat chocolate cake for breakfast every morning.

I want to give her a cell phone with unlimited texting, a credit card for clothes shopping, her own laptop and an IPod touch… She can watch television before school and play the Wii at midnight. I will no longer monitor her schoolwork or her emails and guide her through how to handle relationships with friends and her siblings.

She can call her brothers and sisters names, take their stuff without asking, and blame them for her mistakes with no repercussions.

The eight o’clock hour of bedtime will be a thing of the past and she can sleep late. She can have as many pets as she wants and I will take care of it all – No more chores -- she won’t have to lift a finger...

And with that all said -- for the rest of her childhood , I will never have to look into those saddened doe shaped eyes again and not be able to explain why sometimes my parenting seems so unfair.

I will not have to explain the unexplainable.. That it is my job to keep her healthy and safe – At all costs.. That my teachings will hopefully provide her with the skills she needs to survive this crazy world… That someday this will all make sense to her…

But I cannot. I stand firm.  It is not easy --probably hardest on me. I know this is just the beginning of our growing pains through her journey out of childhood.

Therefore, I sit silently and miserably strapped into my minivan driver’s seat.... and I watch as my smart and kind hearted beautiful ten year old walks away and into school. To my dismay -- she unknowingly does not look back..

She no doubt remains a little saddened… a little humbled... a little wiser.

She does not understand …

And with a confirmed head nod to myself in the rearview mirror I take a deep breath  -- collect the pieces of my heart off the passenger seat and …

I drive away.

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Cathy Tatarczuk January 20, 2012 at 04:57 AM
As always Annemarie, beautifully written. I so look forward to your blogs...they never feel to leave a pleasant impression. You make me smile :) xoxo
Cathy Tatarczuk January 20, 2012 at 04:57 AM
*fail* :)
Annemarie Holloway January 20, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Thanks Cathy! Luckily, I have a wonderful group of Mamas who can relate and who appreciate my crazy world!! :) Love to you!


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