“Mom, seriously? Are you crying?”
No, I wasn’t crying. It was the glare of the sun in my eyes. Promise. Either that or having looked at computer screens for too long during the day. Or possibly it was an allergy. The water streaming from my eyes certainly couldn’t be real tears. I wasn’t even upset about anything. Children are supposed to grow up, right?
I cannot believe it has come to this: taking my daughter to a Homecoming football game, literally depositing her into a realm of mostly strangers, assuming no harm will come to her and trusting everyone and everything to take care of her as I would. Truly, what am I thinking?
Watching your child grow up and gain confidence is as frightening as it is heart warming. Apparently, I tend to lean towards the frightened angle.
Before I let my daughter exit the car, I pointed out a few things which I considered important…Do NOT talk to that guy, he has a goatee. Too young for that. “What’s a goatee?” That fuzzy thing on his chin. Oh look, there’s Gumby! “Mom, are you Okay? I don’t even know what a gumby is.” The dude in the green Gumby suit. Clearly he has some issues. Stay away from him.
“Mom, I will be Okay. I’m meeting my friends. Plus Joanna and Dale and Debra and Jim will be there.” Smart gal, mentioning her friends’ parents. Kids always know how to convince the ole’ mom and dad that everything is ok. The strange thing is, I knew she was right. Everything would be fine. I just needed to get a grip. I hate moments of clarity like this.
“I have my phone, Mom. I can call or text you if anything happens. K?”
Yeah, okay. My reminder to look before she crossed the street as she exited the car was met by a somewhat exasperated-glare-smile as her eyes rolled around. Maybe she was having a seizure…Note to self: schedule a doctor’s appointment to see about possible seizure activity in daughter’s brain.
After turning the car around to head home and wanting everyone in the vicinity to know that I was watching who/what/when/where/how about my daughter, I slowed to a stop. Rolling down my window and after a brief series of honks from the horn, I waved and shouted “I love you, Sweet Monkey! Be careful! Call me!” She must have been trying to avoid Gumby because my teenage daughter looked around and tried to find some place to hide. She actually listened to my advice! Good girl.
Arriving home a few minutes later and unable to resist the urge, I sent a text…”Miss u already!” Homecoming is a time for going back to your roots, appreciating them or, at the very least, acknowledging the place you come from. Which is why, once again, my allergies acted up at my daughter’s texted reply: “Freak.” I love her so.