Wednesday, August 24, 2011

my little big girl

Something happened this past weekend, something seemingly small in the grand scheme of things, but huge in reality. Something monumental. A milestone. A landmark moment.

I dropped my daughter off at the mall.

Her name is Noel, and she is 14. She’s tall and lovely and sweet and smart and funny. I adore her, and I think the feeling is mutual. She has a very best friend, a girl named Isabella, and they share similar personalities and views and even look alike. Isabella has spent as much time over here as Noel has over there.

This past weekend, Noel asked if I would take them to the mall. The crux; she wanted me to simply drop them off and leave. The reason this is such a huge deal is because this has never happened before. I’ve ALWAYS gone to the mall with her; even when we go to the movies, and she sits in a different part of the theater with her friend, I’m still there. Right there with her, guarding her and protecting her and making sure that she’s safe.

I’m not a helicopter mom- I don’t really hover. I know you might be wondering how that can be true when I just said I’m always around whenever we go out. The thing is, she’s never made this request before, asking me to drop them off and leave; I knew it would happen, but that was always “some day”. In the future. When she was “old enough”.

Well, she’s old enough.

So I took her and her friend to the mall and dropped them off. I DID have some things I wanted/needed to do while I was there, like go to Cost Plus World Market and get this soap-

(it’s completely awesome, by the way- click the pic for a link to check it out)

and to Barnes & Noble to get this book-

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. So it wasn’t like I was just leaving, although I wasn’t planning on staying, either. My friend Neya was with me and we went where we needed to go. At first, it seemed that Noel and Isabella were following us; I don’t think that she quite knew what to do with this new found freedom, and she was accustomed to just being with me whenever we go anywhere. However, after I was done with my errands, I waved goodbye to her, and left.

It was SO WEIRD driving away without her in the car. I felt like I had forgotten something. It was just… strange.

And, in a way, it was like I was passing the torch. I remember going to the mall when I was a teenager, hanging out with my friends. We either walked or took the bus or, if we were lucky, catch a ride with someone’s parent before any of us could drive. We could, and did, spend hours at the mall, just wandering around, looking at things, and just generally being teenagers. It was a lot of fun. Kinda the highlight of the week, right?

A few hours later she called for an extraction, and I headed over there to collect her. She and Isabella were full of laughter and giggles, and when I asked what it was that they did, they both just burst out laughing. I couldn’t help but smile; they were so happy. Just, young and happy and carefree. It was cool seeing her like that.

A little sad for me, the mom, because it’s just another step in the direction of her growing up… and out. I feel like things are starting to happen very quickly now…






Saturday, August 13, 2011

my life in fast forward

All too often, things don’t go as planned. My plans to register in school this semester have been somewhat debunked, due to lack of financial funds. I find it highly, somewhat bitterly, ironic that I can’t afford school, and my husband makes too much on paper for me to qualify for financial aid. My taxes, and people like me, pay for those who are unable to pay for themselves… and yet if I want to go to school, I have to either pay out of pocket or take out a loan. I’m not upset at those who need financial aid; far from it. If I could utilize it, I would. That’s what it’s for, to help those you NEED it. I’m mad at the system. The stupid, broken system.

I’m not complaining that I don’t have enough. I’m not mad because we only make just enough. Having been on the receiving end of never having enough to make ends meet, of having to rob Peter to pay Paul month after month, of being perpetually behind all the time, of having horrid credit… I am so freaking grateful that we have enough now to make ends meet. I’m so grateful for the job security, the steady paycheck, the fact that every other week I can fill my fridge and cupboards, fill my gas tanks, even go out to dinner every once in awhile, and I’ve managed to cobble enough together the past two years to take trips to visit friends. I have reliable vehicles, my kids and husband are healthy, and I even have a pet that I can provide the good dog food for and not have to go cheap because I can’t afford not to. So don’t read me wrong; I have a good life, and I know it. I just wish… I really, really wish that I could afford school.

I wish that so hard.

I guess it’s human nature, maybe selfishly, to want more. I have friends who would trade places with my situation in a hot second, and I’m ever mindful of that. I try really hard to not be bitter about things I can’t change, and I try really hard to focus on the things I have instead of the things I want.

This school thing, though…. this is hard for me to accept as is. I keep crunching the numbers and because of other obligations, it just isn’t going to work out right now. It’s frustrating and I’m having a hard time working through and getting over it. That being said, I keep telling myself, maybe next semester… maybe…. maybe….