I waited with a heavy heart for my daughter to come home. I kept seeing the image of her face as she drove away. It’s not easy being a mom sometimes. When your child hurts, the pain for a parent is excruciating. This is her senior year. Naturally I want it to be special but there will always be some bumps and bruises along the way. The last words I spoke to her echoed in my mind. Try and have a good time. Find new people who feel like your people. They are out there, just look.
For those of you who did not read my first post, Pride or Love, the dilemma was whether or not she should get on the senior party bus for the semi- formal dance. There would be many kids on that bus who made her contemplate whether she should get on it or not. They are kids who behave in a way she doesn’t support but it was the senior party bus and everyone wanted to be on it. The problem was, everyone was not really given the opportunity. Through bullying or mocking of just plain “meanness”, some kids would not be permitted to step foot on the popular bus.
Hours later she arrived home looking very relaxed. She took control of her own destiny and ultimately her own happiness. She gave up her seat on the party bus and she stayed at the dance. Whether she knows it not, she made an important choice last night that I hope will be the first of many to come. She did what was right for her own soul. Popularity, being part of the big, popular crowd was not worth sacrificing her own self worth. She is more like her mom than I ever imagined and I couldn’t be prouder. It’s easy to step on the party bus. It’s easy to get lost in a crowd. What isn’t easy is standing on that curb alone while the bus pulls away. She is enough without the crowd, looking more beautiful than ever as she waves goodbye and the bus pulls out of sight.
Times are changing. My daughter is a reminder of that every single day. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have the will to parent. Let me explain. I am trying so hard to teach my daughter about this thing we call life. The problem is that life is slowly eliminating the parents from the children’s lives. Tonight was her 2nd semi-formal dance. Back in prehistoric times, when there was a dance, we went to the dance. Today however, the kids meet at a hotel for pictures, hop on a party bus that takes them to dinner, stops at the dance for 20 minutes and drives around for the rest of the night. I am a dinosaur. I am trying so hard to up adapt to these changing generations but I admit I am finding it pretty hard. Remember the days the date would come to the girls house along with the parents to take pictures? I am sad to report that the parents don’t even bother to see their kids dressed. Two years in a row, kids have gotten dressed at my house but where are the parents? If I’m being honest, it seems the boys parents are more involved than the girls parents. Meeting your date at the pick up point? Weird if you ask me but I was lucky enough the boys parents were brave enough to barge through the crowd of teens to snap a picture so I figured, what the heck, and I followed. These kids need us to be involved. Where have all the parents gone? What in the world could be more important than watching the milestones as they arrive? Things just don’t look the same when we catch a fleeting glance in our rear view mirror. I realize more and more how important it is to be in my kids lives regardless of how much they fight me. The truth is, they probably want me there front and center for it all. It’s just awkward when they look around and there are only a handful of dinosaurs there. How conflicted they must being knowing how awkward it looks for their parents to be there for every single detail while most kids are standing there alone. The strong, the brave, the few….the small number of involved parents slowly becoming extinct.