A Temporary Shut Down of Motherhood

by frannybolsa on July 8, 2013

in Motherhood

Vacation from Motherhood

Girl Wonder flew away. On a plane. By herself.
She packed her suitcase. Collected her violin.
She let me sit with her at the gate. When they called for the “A” passengers to board, she hugged me, slung her bag over her shoulder, and walked away. Firmly telling me that she could do this part without me. Puh-leeese and thank you.

I stood at the window and watched her plane roll back. Then waited at home until she called to let me know she’d met my Mum safe and sound on the other end.

For the next few weeks, they’ll have their annual love fest. And I’ll be flying solo here at home. We get the chance to miss each other.

It’s just the two of us running around this house; riding out all the ups and downs that come with sharing space with another human being. Especially when one of those humans is a teenager. Teenage human – I do believe that qualifies as an oxymoron.

I love her. She is my DNA with mile long legs.

I am her mother. She is my daughter. Sometimes late at night, I watch her sleeping and I can trace all of her 14 years in the curve of her cheekbones and the long-fingers tucked beneath her cheek.

There are days when I want to pull my hair out. When I can’t hear myself think over the sound of her violin. When I get tired of asking her to unload the dishwasher or pick up dirty socks (the kid shed socks like a dog sheds hair). I just get tired of having to always be the official Responsible Person.

I know there are days when my voice sounds like a million mosquitos in her ears. When she just wants her space. When she wishes I would set aside the laptop or the dishes and just for once take us out to do something fun.

Girl Wonder gets to play Granddaughter. Which I hear has much better perks than Daughter.

I get to answer only to Lisa for a few weeks. The best part, the part I look forward to, is being able to turn off the maternal GPS. That thing in your head, which at any given moment, can tell where you on earth your child is. I drop her off in the morning at her “hang out” place. And my brain fixes her there all day. I check in… perform a “Where’s Girl Wonder” search in my brain. Oh – she’s at the “hang out” place. All is right with the world. The days are a series of getting her there and getting me there. Then me moving from here to there to pick her up. Every route I take circles around her latitude and longitude.

Even at home the GPS runs. She’s in her room. She’s taking the dog out before bed. The brain registers that she’s walking the dog for a few extra minutes and stays alert until she’s back in the house.

It’s a relief to shut the thing off. My brain searches for the Girl Wonder – and then recognizes – she’s with her Nana. Someone else is on duty for while.

  • http://www.jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed.com/ Angela Youngblood

    This is simply beautiful. I just left my daughter’s room and she was in tears about, oh who knows what. She is only 9 and I already see the teenager in her.
    You always write so beautifully about loving your daughter while also recognizing the frustrating teenager-y stuff. I love the way you love your daughter and the way you write about it. Now go enjoy your time off.

    • frannybolsa

      Such generous words! Thank you! Love. Kleenex. And duct tape. The teenaged trifecta. May the force be with you.

  • Mater

    Thank you for sharing – both your words and your daughter. We are having a great time. If it makes you feel any better, I often feel guilty that I’mhaving more fun as ‘Nana’ than I did as ‘Mom’. For some reason, moving dishes from the sink to the dishwasher isn’t such a big deal to me now. Neither are socks on the floor or crumbs on the counter. If the house doesn’t get cleaned for a few weeks, I know the walls won’t fall in around us. I don’t have to worry about the kazillion ‘training’ issues required to raise a well-developed, well-rounded teenager. I have the luxury of riding the coat tails of your excellent parenting while Girl WOnder and I jaunt to the movies, museums, aquarium, etc, etc. Since our annual visit is always during my vacation, I don’t have to juggle my work schedule around her activities. She can stay up late and sleep later. I’m not sure if I owe my new ‘laid back’ attitude to the wisdom that comes with age or if it’s the result of knowing “What happens at Nana’s stays at Nana’s”.

    • frannybolsa

      “What happens at Nana’s stays at Nana’s”… that’s cool. I have a “What happens with Auntie M stay with Auntie M myself.” We chill Mater, we chill.

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