I try to have a decent relationship with my daughter, especially now that she is legally an adult. The time for childish things has passed, no more taking her to play at the arcade, buying her bras and undies, hiding Easter baskets or noisy sleepovers.
I am reminded every day of her new “status” in the world. Never call her a kid. She can get a drink out of the fridge whenever she wants. She’ll never eat something packaged for little children ever again, like Go-Gurt.
I am proud to have instilled in her a pure sense of sarcasm. Our conversations are often hilarious to only the two of us. I doubt other people could fully appreciate our special repertoire.
“What’s for dinner?”
“Steak and lobsters.”
“Can we also have invisible baked potatoes and cake?”
“May I invite my invisible boyfriend?
“Sure, there’s plenty.”
This is how we usually communicate with each other. It’s either that or she is asking me for advice that she will never take.
“How long should I wait to hear from him before I give up?”
“I’d say a week, maybe.”
“Never mind. Guys are jerks.”
Why would the child ask me that question if she didn’t care what I had to say? I agree that guys can be jerks, but insist that someday she will meet a non-jerk. She doesn’t want to trust me on this. She is a pretty girl with a killer sense of humor. She’s a good girl and doesn’t want a boy who is too fresh with her and I couldn’t be more thankful that she respects herself enough to feel this way. I tell her that it’s overrated, that sex is empty without emotion.
I also thank goodness that she isn’t a strumpet.
Unlike a short couple of years ago, she listens now when I regale her with tales from my early womanhood. If I could turn back time like Cher, I wouldn’t have done half of the things that I did.
Possibly that one thing.
I hope that my daughter knows that I tried. It’s been a rocky road, raising her. I had help, but I think that I am a little bit different. I carried her for 36 weeks, after all. I stayed up with her all night when she was sick, got her a special drink of her choice (Gatorade) after we picked up her prescriptions. I never left her stranded in the rain in front of the school after a concert. (Which were many.) It was me who decided she needed to learn how to swim because I never did and sent her to classes.
I’m her mom. I love her more than life itself.
And when the grandchildren come, I will be ready. I will leave my mark on them.