I am sitting in the waiting room. Daughter #1 is in the small, sterile “operating” room. Within an hour, her third molars will be wrested from her jaws (I’m making it sound perfectly horrific!).
She signed her own forms, adult that she is. I can start to feel that I am simply the financial guarantor and designated driver in today’s experience.
This girl turned woman, she is ready. Yesterday, she submitted her own prescription at the pharmacy. And she is poised for today, following all the instructions, willingly acquiescing to the “no food” directive.
Of course I remember the days when she demanded juice within a few moments of waking. The requisite sugar high. And the days when she was immature and unreasonable—or perhaps, better said, the days when she acted like the child she was. And sometimes on those long, long days, it seemed that she’d never grow up.
But now I wonder how I got here already. I am the mother of older children. Adults. Life has shifted. Those days when they were all little and all at home are gone. Now this stay-at-home-mom is rarely at home. In fact, my 10-year-old recently depicted each member of our family with a defining icon. I am holding car keys, which look a bit more like small hand saws. At least I am smiling!!
Yes, I am the driver. In the last week, I have driven to piano lessons, the grocery store, ice skating, church activities, the grocery store, dance classes, dance competitions, doctor’s appointments, the grocery store again (and we’re still out of milk!). I wonder why I often feel so scattered, why I can barely string a logical thought together. Sometimes it feels like life is fractured and disjointed and defined by the next outing.
So here I sit, caught between the worlds of childhood and adulthood, neither of which is well defined. It is a new place, a new way of parenting which is not quite as intuitive to me as mothering little ones. But I am still “Mom.” I am the one who will hold my daughter when she wakes up, and help her up the stairs and try to make the pain go away. I am the one who knows her heart. Yes, I am still mom, and she’ll always be my girl.