Sophia hasn’t been feeling well lately. Basically ever since she started preschool we have been inundated with sickness in our home. Last night she was running a fever and kept going in and out of sleep. For the third time she called out “Mama, Mom, Mama.” I paused Mad Men to listen. She stopped a couple minutes later and then it hit me. One day she will get married and she won’t need us anymore. She won’t call for us, she will need someone else.
“Actually, it will likely start sooner than that, when she starts dating and falls in love and that “person” will begin to take our place.”
Susan sat back, feet propped, listening to me go on and on about our future 13-14 years down the road. Then she finally piped in.
“We just can’t let her do that, we have to teach her family first.”
Yeah right. I remember the day I told my mother to tell my father that I didn’t want to be seen at the movies with them anymore. My mom told me that dad would be sad to hear that and I knew it would hurt him but I had a high school reputation to uphold and there was simply no choice. I would hang out with them in the house, continue to play cards on Friday nights, but in public with “the rents” was not an option. I loved my parents in my teenage years, I was always truthful with them to a fault but I held two faces in those 4 years, cool girl at school and wonderful daughter at home and the two shall never mix.
I will prepare Susan and myself for this reality with Sophia. I can’t imagine being her BFF through those tenuous years even though I will ache to be that person to her. I will have to sit quietly back and bite my tongue when she needs advice, when her heart breaks, when she celebrates her wins and mourns her losses, I will wait for her to come to me, unconditionally wait with the hopes that one day she will be mine again, mine to share with many but always, always mine.