One of the great challenges while raising children is helping them become adults without making mini versions of ourselves.
I don’t want my children to be like me.
I want them to learn from me and hopefully they’ve listened to some of my less than brief ramblings, but what I want most for them, aside from health, is for them to discover themselves. Not who I tell them they are, or what their friends and society reinforce, I want them to take the journey with themselves and not be afraid of what they may find.
My daughter is leaving for college in August and I will make a shift from caretaker, controller, decision maker to advisor, supporter, shoulder. I have to.
It’s her life and she deserves the thrill of finding herself.
For crazy neurotic, slightly obsessive compulsives such as myself, this shift is not easy. It takes time and I’ve been working on it for months. I’m getting the hang of it and I’m realizing it’s fun to watch her make her own choices. As Katlyn approaches 19, it is very clear that she is becoming her own person.
Tonight was Katlyn’s senior prom. She decided to have her hair done, extensions and all. Her make-up was professionally applied and she wanted a dress that was, in her words…”exciting.” “I want something fun and different.”
Well, now we really have a problem, because my idea of fun and different is wearing a necklace. This was the perfect opportunity to find out what fun and different meant for Katlyn.
The first dress she picked out was gold, yes that’s right gold. I can honestly say I’ve never worn gold in my entire life. I don’t even have a gold watch, but she wanted gold so I went to the website. They were out of the dress completely. Apparently gold is a very popular color this year. Really?
Moving on past several other gold and silver dresses that were out of stock, I found one that was a nude kind of color and covered in sequins and beads. It looked like it weighed a ton, but I figured nothing said exciting like sequins and beads. I also found a lovely navy blue, kind of classic…focus, I really had to focus.
I sent her a picture of the bead extravaganza and she fell in love with it. I took a deep breath, held back the urge to argue the many fine qualities of the navy dress and ordered the bedazzler.
To make a long prom story, filled with which shoes and which bag and how much eye makeup was too much, short, Katlyn was beaming.
She looked fantastic last year, I had much more influence last year, but this year she glowed. She looked exactly the way she wanted to look, her choices, all of them, and when she left our house I had a hard time breathing. She was someone I’d never seen before, not a shadow of her parents or in a dress that was “sort of what she wanted”. It was all her and it was all a bit overwhelming.
Seeing yourself in your children can be exciting and gratifying. She has my temper, or she has her fathers butt, but seeing someone completely unique, separate, and all her own is really thrilling in a crazy roller coaster sort of way.
As beaded, red carpet, sort of Marilyn Monroe singing Happy Birthday, glamorous as she looked when she left, once she got to the prom, the shoes came off, the hair fell out and she danced all night. I think she gets that from me.
My thoughts from the laundry room. No Curfew.