I look at my 13 yo daughter with whom I have clashed with, fought with, been driven to frustration with, but ultimately love with a fierce strength — and wonder where has the time gone.
Where is the skinny, squawky baby who refused her bottle until the 3rd try?
Where is the defiant toddler who would not sit in timeout and instead had to be restrained on someone’s lap — meaning that by the end of the timeout I was more frustrated with her inability to sit in timeout than with her misbehavior? Often I forgot why she was in timeout in the first place.
Where is the preschooler who insisted on wearing a dress each day, but who would fight with every strength of her being about wearing panty hose in cold weather? How many pairs of panty hose did I put my hand through??
Where is the kindergartner who took a pack of fluorescent wart-removal bandaids to school to give to her friends because she liked the colors, which meant I had to call her friend’s parents to warn them about the bandaids?
Where is the grade schooler who insisted on playing kickball at recess even though she was the only girl on the team and the other boys were hostile towards her?
Where is the middle schooler who wrote a movie script at a time when she was supposed to be completing her History Day project?
College looms ahead. Just at the time she is breaking free, wanting to go on her own, I want to keep her in the fold of our family of 5. I treasure every movie night, drive in the car, and even every argument. Once she heads off to college she will be on the verge of starting her own life. Right now she is part of our life. I cling to the moments.