Not so Suddenly Single, But So Suddenly Alone?
Sophie and I snuck away for a little mommy-Sophie time. It was only overnight and while we both wished it were longer, school started on Monday. We were lucky to get this time in at all. Between her working and our full house, I don't like leaving my mother alone too long with Nana. The next get away will be for my mother who desperately needs a break from the "every day is the same but different" scenario at home.
We drove to Charleston for a girlie girl time, a little spa, a little shopping and a spot of dinner with our friend Bob Waggoner at the Charleston Grill (OMG, just so good). There are benefits when you know the chef! If you can't decide what to have for dessert? Chef just says, "Then have it all" and that's just what happened. Five different tastes of sorbet, three ice creams, ricotta fritters and crËme brulee.it was delicious!
Soph and I had a chance to walk and talk about the upcoming year. She's going to be a junior in high school. But sometimes I still see the little fifth grader who walked into an American school with her lilting and plumy English accent. Part of the accent is still there, but now the bouncy trot of the little ten year old has given way to a gait of a lean sixteen year old. The ponytail swinging side to side replaced by long brown locks swaying, held back by dead-cool sunglasses. She's taller than me too by a good two inches. My baby has grown up.
A driver's license, car and job put Sally's Taxi Service out of business. My school run days? Officially over and now my days are not defined by taking her to and from school.
I had some "pulling my hair out" times with my little Soph. She did not always stick to the status quo and caused us both distress. More for her than me, but what is growing up without a few mistakes here and there? At the time, I wished she had a bit more forethought when it came to thinking about consequences. But then again, kids just don't think about consequences of their actions, most of the time. Neither do grown ups for that matter, as we all know.
Our time walking and talking showed me the level of maturity she has gained, partly due to making some of her own mistakes; partly due to watching others make silly mistakes. But one thing that impressed me most in my daughter was that when I gave her some freedom and responsibility she treasured it and protected it. I am proud of her for that. I have seen others who, given the same privileges that come with a car and license, take it as carte blanche to run amuck all over the place. Making a nail-biting scenario for any parent with a new driver on the perilous Highway 278 even worse.
We talked about where she wants to go to school and how she cannot wait to start her college life, but terrified about what she will do when it is over. I just said, " Honey, as long as you do something you love and pick a place you like, you will do well. Please do not wait until you are forty something to follow your dream or discover your passion. Try really hard to figure out what you want. Learn from my mistakes." I was not preaching but finger crossing that she was listening with an open mind.
My little girl is turning into a fine young woman, someone who loves her family, cherishes her friendships and accepts responsibilities.
So as I watch the future unfold for Sophie, my last one at home, I wonder what that will bring for me. I have always said, I cannot wait to have the house to myself. Being a single parent, I have never been alone in the past. Will I really be big and brave and embrace my total freedom, with only visits from my kids around the holidays and over summers? Will I run through the house yelling "Yippee, Yippee, Yee, I'm as happy as I can be?" Will my brave face be truly brave or will I cry every night watching home movies while finally putting family pictures into an album? Or will I make the call to Mr. Crown and Ginger and tell him to pack his bags and get his ass down here, now it's his turn, or should I say our turn? All that is still two years away. Enough time I hope for Mr. Crown and Ginger to alter his eating habits and lower his cholesterol since if I make that call, I want him around to answer it, be my prince charming, and rescue the lonely damsel.just not quite yet.