Thursday, October 6, 2016

Must Be The Age

In the last month or so, I've become acutely aware of just how different my relationship with my daughter has become. While it has not fractured beyond repair, it is undeniably strained. I don't really want to put all our stuff out in public, but a lot of it is that the rebelliousness that I expected a few years ago seems to be expressing itself now. I'm struggling with handling it; and while the tension isn't bubbling over at the moment, there is still the reality that the relationship has changed, and it's not ever going to be the way it used to be. She may not be fully adult yet, but she certainly is  no longer a kid or even really an adolescent.
I know, on balance, I've done an excellent job raising her without a lot of help from the other parent or anyone else. The proof is that she is, for the most part, an excellent kid, decent and conscientious and with a good heart. Even now, she is not neglecting her schoolwork, near as I can tell, and I'm not getting calls from the school like I was all last year about missed classes. And I remember that I was hardly home when I was a senior in high school, too, until well after dark, so I can't complain too much.
And I've talked to two of my friends in the last 24 hours that also have 17-almost-18YO daughters, and theirs, too, are asserting their independence and giving my friends fits. One is in the same high school and grade as Sabrina, and I don't think I'm giving up any secrets is saying that kid has more issues on the table than Sabrina does. The other is a woman I knew well in high school that now lives in the Phoenix area. Her daughter is almost the exact same age as Sabrina, and she has completely rebelled; she apparently chose, in the last year, to live with the other parent, something I know must have hurt my friend deeply.
That's kind of a nightmare of mine. I know MOTY would love that, and has probably brought up the subject quite a bit. Sabrina so far has resisted those blandishments, but I am beginning to wonder what is going to happen in January when she turns 18. Her mother no longer resides in the district, and Sabrina doesn't know yet how much insurance is going to cost her when the year my mother paid for expires in December, and I know her mother can't shoulder that burden. But this is new for me; I've always been the stable parent, the one she wanted to be with. That's changed somewhat, partially due to things I've done (lost my temper, got in a relationship she didn't like) and partially due to a very selective memory on her part (I almost choked when she told me her mother never yelled at her like I do sometimes. This is a kid that told me, when she was 10, that her mother only communicated through yelling).
Knowing I'm not the only one going through this is mildly comforting, especially since matters haven't degenerated quite as far in our house as they have in the others'. But it still doesn't feel good. And I do hope that the ultimate cup--that she leaves home before she goes to college--is spared me. I don't want her to stay young and dependent forever, but I also do not want to see her lose her secure place unnecessarily, either. It's a tough time, but I am persevering (and to her credit, so is my daughter).
But I'm not going to lie; I wish full adulthood, and the perspective that comes with it, would arrive. Soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work, Steve. As parents, that's all we can do. And pray for guidance and good judgement