Family, Kids, Love, Motherhood

When loving and letting go are the same thing

My oldest daughter is having a hard week. Well, to be fair, she’s had a pretty tumultuous year or so. Not entirely in the “OMG teenagers are so much hard work”, there’s been a bit of that for sure, but what I’ve seen the most is her trying to find the answers. I’m not sure if she knows the questions, but she’s been seeking something, which so far seems to have eluded her.

Today her terrible week culminated (well I hope it culminated because it’s Thursday and there is still Friday to go and this thing was fairly pinnacle of crappy things to happen as far as culminations go) with her bus crashing into a man on the way to school. The guy hit the windscreen and all the glass shattered onto the driver. She messaged me at 7am (because she’s 4000km away and it was later there) to call her, and she’s crying and shocked, and the man has gone away in an ambulance (but she doesn’t think he’s ok) and everyone has left the bus, and she’s waiting for her friends mum to pick her up. It her final week of school ever, she has an assignment to finish today and an exam tomorrow, and she’s done, but this week has challenged all of that (she slept through her English exam, she missed her team synchronised swimming practice, her dodgy knee is injured again, a teacher inadvertently told her she might not pass year 12 because of a subject change (this turned out to be not true, however for two hours she believed it was)). It wasn’t going good before the week began, and although I could tell all here I’m not going to do the public “outing” of her risky behaviours for all and sundry. It just turned out OK, but it could just have easily not. I think as a parent of children who are nearly 18 you just have to let go as much as you can, and trust your child and their choices, knowing they’ll make plenty of crappy ones, and hope that the consequences are teachable moments, but not ones that end everything. I can’t love her enough to keep her safe, but I can certainly love her enough.

When she moved away she was so mad at me and life and 4000km away seemed like the best option. I’m not sure if it’s turned out that way, and her relationship with her Dad is having a pretty major hiccough (but then when she left here 6 months ago the hiccoughing was like those one of those days where you keep getting them, even though you haven’t eaten anything new) and it’s been really hard for her at times, and not just this week. But she messages me to call just for a chat, and she tells me almost everything (well a lot closer to everything than she did when she lived here) and every now and then I get glimpses of the amazing woman she’s becoming, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get her there. Even if that means letting her go so she comes back.

She’s coming home in one month, I’m not sure for how long, but today we started the bed moving palaver that comes with having lots of kids and not enough bedrooms, to make a space for her to come home to. The bed deconstruction/reconstruction got really precarious at times, and My and I were praying my guy didn’t come home and catch us with the top bunk dangling above me while I undid just one more screw (poor planning on our behalf), but he didn’t and we finished it ourselves. Pretty proud. The rooms are chaos, but I feel just a little bit excited at the mostly empty (really dusty) one, that my big girl will fill for a while.

And the really excellent news? There are six more unique girls coming on, one by one, to the place where loving them and letting them go are one and the same….eeeeek.

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