My daughter turns 10 next week, and I seriously cannot believe it! How is it even possible that 10 years went by so quickly?!? 😰
This year I’ve seen my little girl begin to blossom into a strong, compassionate and independent young lady. As proud as this makes me feel as a mother, I’ve selfishly started to miss the days of carrying her in my arms! I literally CANNOT carry her anymore. I can’t do it! She is almost as tall as me now!
Her newfound independence was put on full display when we were in Disney World a couple of weeks ago. Out of habit, I repeatedly reached for her hand, only to have her quickly lift it to brush her hair out of her face or pretend to point to something in the distance. Admittedly, I felt a little hurt – like I suddenly morphed from her awesome mama into someone she was embarrassed to be seen holding hands with.
Of course, that wasn’t the case at all, but I’ve always been pretty amazing at jumping to conclusions. 🤪
When I mentioned this to her,she said, “Mom, this is the first vacation where I haven’t had to have someone hold my hand the entire time. It feels good to be able to walk around like a big kid!”
I understood. I could relate. It was in that moment that I stopped trying to hold her hand, and instead watched her with a knowing smile. She’s not my baby anymore. I get it.
Still, at the end of each day I felt a small rush of redemption every time she curled up next to me on the way back to the hotel, or asked me to help her brush through her hair or open her snacks.
I was still needed, after all. 😊
Since we’ve been home, I’ve been working downtown most days, and my family is usually done eating dinner by the time I get home. Tonight, when I got home, I was exhausted: I dropped my stuff inside the door and sat down by myself to eat my dinner alone at the dining room table. I had a busy day and thought it was probably best anyway. The time to myself would allow me a chance to breath and unwind.
A few minutes later, Buster came down and rubbed up against my leg to let me know he was there, and I could hear my husbands shower water running and my daughter FaceTiming one of her friends upstairs. I heard her laughing and it made me smile. I suddenly felt a sense of loneliness – again feeling like she had no use for me anymore. Dramatic, I KNOW! But I’ve never claimed to be anything but dramatic! 🤩
Then I heard her yell my name, “Mom? Is that you?” When I responded, I heard her tell her friend she would have to call her back. She came bounding down the stairs, pulled a chair out directly across from me at the dining room table and said, “Mom-, can we have a quick chat about our days?” 🥰
It sounds stupid, but this request made me feel a little emotional. She may not be my baby anymore, but she’s still my little girl. She always will be. I will soak up and appreciate all of these tiny moments with her for as long as I can.
I wasn’t sober for the first 4 1/2 years of my daughters life. It’s a cold, hard truth that still haunts me to this day. I have, however, been a sober mother for her for nearly 5 1/2 years now, and although it doesn’t make up for lost time, I am so incredibly grateful I found the help that I needed so that I could be here to see her grow up. My relationship with my daughter is the biggest, most beautiful gift my recovery has ever given me.
Today, I am grateful