Thursday, February 8, 2018

Seventeen

I've filled my house with pink balloons and princesses, turned a spare room into an American Idol stage, hung icicle lights from my dining room ceiling to make it look like The Great Hall and turned an old refrigerator box into a Tardis.

And nearly killed myself in the process.

I'd do anything to make my baby girl happy, you know. And for a party.

Then she turned 17.

There were no balloons, no hats, no screaming girls. Hell, there wasn't even a cake.

Instead, we had cupcakes snagged from a fancy bakery in Kenner so she could at least light a candle for her poor mom's memory stash.

And she drove.

Later there was just a low-key trip to the local pizza place with mom and dad, one of her best friends, her Godmother and God Uncle (I just made that up). We had pizza and presents and we sang to her. She was appropriately embarrassed.

My how the years have flown. My little baby girl, who once wore nothing but pink, who sang silly songs from her car seat and made us sit through endless viewings of The Wizard of Oz and Pocahontas and who taught us who Kim Possible was, is a 17-year-old young woman who binge watched American Horror Story (without me) and can sing in Korean.

She is a smart, sophisticated, gorgeous, witty, talented young lady who cooks her own food, does her own laundry and forms her own opinions. She can sing in Korean because she's a  little obsessed with Korean boy bands at the moment.

Still, she's an honor student who is in the choir, has an after-school job at a local grocery and, just recently was inducted into the National English Honor Society. In October her choir is going to New York City to sing at Carnegie Hall. You don't think I'd miss that, do you?

There are some things that don't change, though. She's still a bit of a slob, refuses to pick her socks up off the floor and doesn't always do the dishes like she's supposed to.

She also is a little obsessed with makeup and such and has become a product horder, with everything out where she can see it. No, I don't fuss her about it because she has to share a bathroom counter with her dad, not me.

But watch. She's going to be one of those girls who keeps her car spotless. You know.

She's also going to be one of those girls who moves out and never looks back. Just like I did. .

I know.

When my  mom moved in with us back in August, it was the first time we had lived together since I was 17. I couldn't wait to leave. Now I know how I broke my mother's heart.

My job is nearly done.

When she is ready, she will fly away too, to make her way in the world without me. She's not going to call. Probably won't answer my texts and will block me on Snapchat. Maybe she'll come home for Christmas. Or to do her laundry.

When she is ready -- not when I am ready.

I'm not ready.
Driving her mama on her 17th birthday.














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