Most Monday mornings, we would be out the door by now, The Princess and I. But today her head hurts, and we’re waiting to see if Motrin will make a difference. She is big enough now to take the grown-up kind.
Forgive me if I find this shocking.
Every day I look at her and see less child and more woman.
I’m not sure how to be her mother sometimes.
My mother was painfully uncomfortable with my development into a young woman. I’ve written about this in the past. It’s probably enough to know that even though she has been gone for more than twelve years, since before The Princess was born, the bad memories can still bring on a little nutty.
I don’t have a good model for mothering a girl into womanhood.
Yesterday I baptized a little girl who is just a year old. I look at her mother and know she will know what to do. Yesteday I sat with Sarah and listened to her talk about her daughter. I know she knew what to do.
Saturday I went into the feminine products aisle at Gigantic Grocery Store. Wouldn’t it make sense to have some supplies on hand for the inevitable day that is the first for The Princess? I stared baffled at the array of products. Maybe I’ll go shop at the whole foods store, instead, where they have the organic cotton feminine hygiene wares. There aren’t as many, so it has to be easier to choose.
I want to know why, at 44, I’m having the painful cramps of adolescence again. My mother had endometriosis. She knew real pain. She feared it, and she didn’t want to talk about the things that caused it for her. She couldn’t tell me that it was worth the pain and struggle, as a college friend did, because it meant someday you could have a baby. She never could have a baby–all the bleeding and all the pain, the surgeries, the tubes shot full of dye–still no baby.
A family in our old church celebrated with their daughter when she reached womanhood. She had a special day out with her mother; her father came home from work with a rose. She’s a confident, wonderful young woman, now in medical school. I love her vibrancy.
The Princess is vibrant as she teeters on the cusp. I fear doing my part poorly, that my response to her will be marred by a discomfort born of my own experience.
Perhaps I need a book to read. Isn’t there a book to resolve every crisis of confidence or wont of information?
She was the child for whom we needed no book. By the time she came along, we knew what to do. But that time is running out, I can see it slipping away as she lengthens and curves.
God help me, I want to do this right.