Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I Can Almost Smell Freedom...

My daughter, Fric, is growing up. I remember when she was born. I marveled that she was mine. She was nothing like I thought she would be. She had no hair and an extremely large head, for starters. She was huge. And she was stubborn, right from the get-go. When I brought her home from the hospital, I wondered what in the hell I was supposed to do now. The sheer magnitude of being responsible for another life was overwhelming. I worried that I would screw her up beyond redemption.

And I probably have. But nine years later, I'm okay with it. I figure she has given as good as she's got. If she has to see a therapist, she might as well come along with me so we can get the group discount. Parenting a daughter has been a hard row to hoe. But I'm lucky. She is the junior sized version of me, so I feel like I have the inside edge. When her beautiful beady eyes started getting that evil gleam, I know what she's thinking. I can usually head her off at the pass. I can tell when she is spinning tall tales, and I know when her heart is bruised.

But even with this road map there have always been twists in the trail. I mean, she likes to listen to Britney Spears and Shania Twain for heaven's sake. At her age, I refused to join the pack. No Corey Hart or Brian Adams for me. No way. I dedicated all my time to listening to my dad's old eight tracks, enjoying the velvet crooning of Elvis, Waylon Jennings and Dolly Parton. (That probably tells you way too much about my past geekiness...)My daughter thinks Hilary Duff and the Olsen girls are cool, and if she knew what a Bratz doll was, she would probably hound me like a dog from hell to get one.

Today, Fric grew new feathers in her wings. Wings that are one day going to allow her to fly this coop. She is off to enjoy her first overnight class field trip. They are going to Drumheller to learn about dinosaur bones. For three days. Three days of no sibling rivalry. Three days of listening to the quiet beeps of the GameCube and no whining about not sharing. Three days of not having to argue with her about brushing her hair. I'm almost childless. The boy almost takes care of himself. I am almost free. Only one soccer game to attend, not two! Do you smell that? That's the giddy smell of freedom...

As Fric was bouncing around with excitement this morning, she worried about tenting it in the big ole outdoors. She worried about snakes and spiders. She worried she might be cold. Being the kind hearted, supportive mom I am, (as I was pushing her out the door) I told her not to worry. I told her half the fun was the unknown. I told her to loosen up, enjoy the experience. But mostly, I just told her to hurry up.

I didn't want her to miss that damn bus.


Blogger moe said...

When one of my kids is gone I still have four. That's twice as many as most families but, for me, it's a break. We change where we are sitting at the table and maybe even use paper plates so I don't have to do dishes. If two of them are gone, woo hoo we're going OUT to dinner, think how cheap it will be!

My oldest has never been afraid of leaving me. When I dropped her at daycare for the first day, immediately she said "Bye mommy" What? Don't you want me to stick around for a while?

Next week she's going to Manitoba for an exchange trip. We'll miss her. Who will dry the dishes, help with the babies and do all that eye rolling and sighing?

Hope Fric enjoys the great outdoors!

9:10 a.m.  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

Ha ha! I know the feeling, but you will miss her within 12 hours of her departure. :)

9:14 a.m.  
Blogger Fidget said...

HMMMM, one left.... can he visit grandma? or auntie? Could you imagine a night of kid free fun? Just you and the hubs.. it might make up for that annivesary hockey game snafu

9:23 a.m.  
Blogger wolfbaby said...

Your funny!! I like your site I will have to add to my fav list;)

9:49 a.m.  
Anonymous Grins said...

It is only 11:46 here, it isn't too early for a margarita right? RIGHT? Now to run off and help my son find a summer job so he doesn't spend the next 3 months eating me out of house and home playing PS2 until my head explodes.

9:50 a.m.  
Blogger It's okay, Sweetie said...

Redneck Mommy! I see others are discovering your great writing and now I have to scroooooooll all the way down to leave a comment. Good for you :)

I can't believe how brave you are in this post. I would be right along on that trip, dammit. Or at least following the bus within a safe distance. Or maybe require webcam viewing so I could check in and monitor? I'm a wee bit overprotective. But then again, my daugther's still wee young. That drink looks might tasty....

9:56 a.m.  
Blogger B.E.C.K. said...

"I didn't want her to miss that damn bus."

LOL Yeah, yeah, spiders, snakes, whatever, GET GOING ALREADY! Hope you enjoy the lack of fighting. I've only got one, but I remember how my siblings and I tore the place up when we were young. ;^)

12:14 p.m.  
Blogger My float said...

Despite the fact that I gave birth to my son, therefore some of my genetic material is definitely drifting around that little body, I am sometimes baffled by him. Not so much by his interests, he's only two and he does what i say, dammit (or not!) but just the fact that he is so much a mystery to me.

Bet you miss her already. And I think that, once she learns about bratz dolls, it's all over!

3:12 p.m.  
Blogger Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Nine years old...she's just a baby, I would have to go along on that field trip too. I bet you miss her already.

4:50 p.m.  
Anonymous Izzy said...

Oh my...but it's bittersweet, isn't it? I hope she has a blast!

That frozen Margarita..she's looking mighty tasty. Please drink one on me because YOU have been tagged, sista!

7:14 p.m.  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Dude, I am still at the stage where the thought of WonderBaby leaving my side fills me with dark, dark fear.

I totally get that I will one day crave the sweet, sweet candy of freedom (and the ability to drink grown-up quantities of alcohol, but that's another story). But I suspect that I'll still feel a clench in my heart when she heads out the door/onto the bus/into the schoolyard.


8:00 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our baby (he's 26) left on Sunday for his new job in the big city with his second degree in his hand. The dudette and I silently cheered and waved as he drove off into the sunset. Oh.. I forgot.. I'm still paying the insurance on that car he's drving which I still own.

8:43 p.m.  
Anonymous J. said...

And while I long for the smell of freedom, I still freak right the hell out.
Maybe we could send them off together.

Oh! And I am to please chicklet, pics are done and up.

10:49 p.m.  
Blogger me said...

too funny..i know the feeling. don't get too used to the freedom. i used to think the world would be mine by now. HA it doesn't end until they're all married and can't sneak up on you. oh you know you'll desperately miss her by the time she gets back :) enjoy!

7:20 a.m.  
Blogger Mary-LUE said...

Redneck Mommy is the best!

8:36 a.m.  

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