That’s Not When I Cried

The mommyblogger universe is awash right now in oh-my-heavens-my-oldest-child-started-school-this-year! tears.

Maybe it’s because MY “oldest baby” is now 14 years old -we’ve been through too many First Day of School(s), and with more children besides – but I think I’ve become desensitized to the whole thing.  Really, I don’t remember being so emotional.  My husband doesn’t remember me being so emotional.  I can’t decide if that means there is something wrong with me or not.

Kids go to school – we all expect for that to happen.  In fact, unless you are homeschooling, you’re looking at legal infractions if your kids DON’T go to school.  So maybe that’s why I didn’t cry – I knew I couldn’t outrun the inevitable.  You know when I did cry?  I’ll tell you.

I cried earlier this year when my teenage daughter abruptly threw up The Wall.  As far as I’m concerned, The Wall is not necessarily an inevitability of raising kids.  I know plenty of moms (including my own) who will say that every single teenager constructs a Wall tall enough to keep their parents out and wondering what the heck is happening on the other side.  But I have seen other families and had other friends who were able to navigate their children’s teenage years without feeling so confused and ostracized.  I believed with my whole heart that we were going to be one of those families.  I can’t tell you how many friends and acquaintances would comment on how close my daughter and I were, what a special relationship we had.  I guess that’s why when she changed the rules on me, it brought me to my knees.

So, while I sent my oldest daughter out into the world without a tear, I can still sympathize with all you new school moms in your sense of grief.  I guess all moms experience moments of mourning and loss while raising their children, mine just happened to come about 9 years later than most.

epilogue:  we’ve worked very hard as a family in the past 6 or 7 months, and i still believe my relationship with my daughter is strong.  it has just changed, and my expectations and assumptions have changed.  it has not been easy, but i have hope that all will be well in the end.