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…