So, those of you that have been clicking on my blog since the beginning, know that my beautiful surprise package of a daughter is pretty much one of my biggest life achievements. In 3rd year uni, my now husband (then boyfriend) and I found out that we were pregnant. Long story cut short, the next 9 months were a roller coaster that ended in the birth of the most beautiful and amazing bub, who has blown us away since the day she was born.
Fast forward 13 years and all of sudden, that beautiful, amazing bub is a teenager, who is well on the way to becoming a beautiful and amazing young woman.
That’s right, my beautiful baby girl who, it feels like just yesterday, was a toddler reading Mem Fox and watching the Wiggles, is now a 13 year old thrust into the depths of Instagram and The Hunger Games.
What no one tells you about this age, is the grief that you will process as you watch your daughter go from a naive, innocent little girl into a young woman…...confident, independent and self assured. Becoming more and more her own person and less and less your little girl.
My girl and I have always been close. We shared a lot of the same interests….Drama, Dance, Reading…...I helped her with eisteddfods, we read the same books and then watched the movies together, I sewed her costumes, did her stage makeup and hair sprayed her hair within an inch of its life.
And then, 2 months ago, I took her into the local theatre for a dance performance, walked her down into the dressing rooms, she turned to me and said…..
“It’s ok Mum, I’ll see you after.”
And I turned, and walked up to the food court next door and ate Red Rooster chips on my own!
The two hours prior to every dance performance that I had spent with my girl, the quick changes that I was there to help whip her from one costume to the next, the bobby pins, hairspray, red lipstick and ballet ribbons that I was there for…...I was no longer needed for.
And I sat…..in the middle of a shopping centre food court and stared into space. If it wasn’t such a public place, I think I would have cried!!!! Those two hours that I would usually be in, amidst the chaos and hustle and bustle of a pre show preparation, was all happening….and my girl was coping…..on her own.
There are stages in your parenting life that no one ever tells you about. Some parts of the birth (thank God, or no one would ever procreate again!), the agonising pull that you feel in your heart as you watch them confidently skip into Kindergarten, barely looking back to even wave. And of course the first day of Year 7, when they want you to just drop them at the gate because they have already organised, via Instagram direct messages, when and where to meet their friends and begin their High School experience.
But for some reason, this stage, where I was no longer required backstage, was my moment. It was the moment when I realised that my little girl was no longer…..my little girl. She was a young lady…...and before I know it she will be a young woman.
And in the meantime, I am grieving. Grieving the time that I had with my little girl that now has progressed into me dropping her at the movies, to meet up with friends and looking at me with petrified eyes if I even mention taking her little brother to the same movie whilst we wait!
It’s one of those things. Those things that you never get told about. Everyone tells you about the first moments of walking, talking, first day of school, first day of dance classes…..but no one tells you about the moment, when they turn around and say, “It’s OK Mum, I got this. I’ll see you later.”
And you just have to walk away…..because your little girl has grown into a resilient, independent young lady….who really has got this. This is what you wanted. This is what you were working towards….but when the moment hits….It’s hard. Really hard.
But you know what?
I’ll be ok. It’s not about me. Me raising my daughter is not about me. It’s about raising a young woman who will go out into this world and take it by storm.
And at age 13, as a young, confident, creative and intelligent young lady, I have nothing to worry about…..
Now excuse me while I just go and grab some more tissues!