This is my "big girl".
She is seventeen years, 3months, and 2 weeks old today.
She is reading my blog for the first time.
She didn't know it existed until this day
I pride myself on having a rather strong stomach, but upon realizing she was going to read it through, I felt alarmingly nauseated. I had to leave the room while she read most of it. I didn't go far of course; I skulked about the adjoining rooms, trying to appear busy and productive and important in a mom sort of way. I was really biting my fingers and doing a sort of jiggy pace across the floor holding the same piece of laundry, dust cloth, mug of tea...
Occasionally, she did this:
and laughed out loud. In her laughter, I remember how I used to be cool. Long before lactation and frustration and even graduation (that would be mine, from college, not hers, from high school, impending this summer); back then, I was the neatest thing since sliced bread. She was a clever, precocious 4 to my 20, when I met her; I was older than her cousins, but younger than her mom, and as she grew, that made me super hip and completely worthy of worship in areas ranging from fashion and hair to friendship and parental units.
When she laughs like this, it is everything I can do not to be near her. Since it is my words that have put her into such gales, I even go so far as to walk casually into the room and see what she's reading. I play a game with myself, trying to guess which post she has read that has brought forth the giggle, the scoff, the belly laugh. I think I know her this well.
Sometimes, I am right. I totally pegged her on the Winter Prep post. (She hates the cold you see, hates the drafts and the shrink wrapped windows, so I figure it out when she gets there.) I got her right on the "Men of the House of Stink" post too. Given.
But more often than not, she surprises me.
She comments all grown-up and professional-like on my camera; asks about photo editing programs and tangents briefly about her MAC envy (she has aspirations that involve film and production stuff).
She is thoughtful and quiet at times. She touches the screen edge when she reads of our Missie. She speaks briefly on the tree parable, asks about Cortez and seems genuinely struck by my notice of and even search for, new 'fridge poetry.
She tells me how she will, upon arrival on campus next fall, head to the grocer to pick up snow cream staples so she'll never be caught empty. (I may have to drive up every other day or so, just to make sure she hasn't run out.)
She reminds me that I never made good on a post promise made in my "Hibernation" post. (I will, in the next post, I promise...again.)
She closes out the blog and goes about her studying (documenting the difference between the use of "like" and "as if") which I, shamefully, was not much help with. I go about my day, somewhere between here and there feeling less anxious about her reactions, and more thoughtful of them and of her.
Hours later, I find her reading the blog again.
She has long since stopped asking for my advice on clothing, hairstyle, and even, for the most part, relationships. She is surprised, shocked and astounded even, when I introduce her to an awesome new radio station out of Philly, and even more surprised to hear me listening to it. I'm not sure anymore, where she stands politically, but I'm fairly certain it's not with me. I tell myself that this is a natural and necessary process. That our children must, eventually, begin to chafe under us, or they'd never have the motivation to step out on their own. To achieve their own dreams. To blaze their own trail.
None the less, there she is - reading my blog... again.
She asks me if I will blog about her.
Maybe I'm still a little bit cool.
Maybe. Just a little.