My daughter has her first real relationship with a boy who is older & we've got the whole dating, curfews, rules, boundaries, boy must suck up to the Mama thing going on. It's no longer the days of 2 14 year olds who giggle at the idea of holding hands. We've moved on. Ready or not, my baby girl is no longer a baby.
The first time I let her actually go on a date...like, leaving the house without adult supervision, in his car, to go to a movie, I watched her walk out the front door, and it hit me. It hit me hard: This is the beginning, Mama.
The beginning of many times where she will be walking out that door & I'll be looking at the back of her as she shuts the door, and I have no control over what happens next. Sure, she's gone to school, she's gone to camp, she's gone to friends', she gone to her sports games at other schools, she's gone to the mall, lots of places without me...but I always had some bit of control over every single one of those. If I wasn't along, I knew what adults were, I had names & phone numbers of all involved, I knew an adult would be in charge of every little thing they did, and I had her convinced that Mama knows all & sees all.
This was the first time I let her walk out that door without having any tiny bit of control over anything that was going to happen for the next couple of hours. And it won't be the last. I just hope it gets easier because that night, as soon as the door was shut, I sat down next to my sweet friends & said, "Hold me." The 2 friends with me that night just sat there saying, "I am not looking forward to that day" because they both have daughters. The 3 of us just sat there for a while, looking straight ahead, thinking about our girls. And me laying my head on one of their shoulders while I tried not to sob.
I wasn't sad for her going out. I was excited for her to be taking the next step in life & learning more about responsibility & trust. I knew that Amazing Grace & That Boy would take my trust very seriously. I had no doubt about that, since I had spent 30 minutes telling them what I would do to him (and her, but I emphasized the him part) if he broke my trust by being late or not going exactly where they said they were going. I even told them that I had no problem following them, and they both said they believed it. Yeah, I'm that Mama.
In fact, on their way to the movie in another town since we live in Mayberry where theaters don't exist, a car followed them the entire way. They both figured it was me. And when he stopped to get gas...That Boy made sure Girl Teenager texted to tell me where they were, so that I knew they had to stop somewhere before coming straight home. Good boy, he is scared of me, and he very well should be.
That night I was sad for me. Sometimes a selfish part of me comes out & just wants to say, "Wait! Go back 10 years. I'm not ready!" Because there will be a day when that door shuts behind her & she won't be coming back that night. Or the next night. Or the next. Because she will have moved onto the next part of her life. The part I'm really, really not looking forward to.
That door shutting behind her was so difficult for me to watch. Because that was the very second that I handed her the reigns on her life for a short time. I gave up part of my control. I handed her some of the control & over the next couple of years, she will be handed more & more of that control until eventually, in a few short years, she has all of it & I have none.
That is what the door shutting behind her represented for me. And I was not ready. I don't know if I would ever be ready, honestly. And, dear Lord, I have more daughters to go through this with. I don't know if it gets easier or if I'll just become numb, but one of those better happen 'cause I can't put myself through this every single time one of them gets to this stage.
I do like That Boy & I really like how he treats my daughter. I also really like that he sucks up to me constantly & knows that I'm a protective & paranoid Mama who has the ability to hide bodies. He respects that & fears me. Perfect.
Next step...prom. Amazing Grace went to a prom before but it was different. She was younger, the boy was younger, and it was a mock prom for a homeschooling group with no dancing & lots of parents there. Not what a person thinks of when they think of prom, or what we knew it was going to be like until she got there.
This is That Boy's Senior Prom. I'm excited for her because my prom sucked & I'm hoping she has a better time than I did...and come on, it's prom! It's one of the memories of high school that you never forget. It's also that big dance that is for couples. The other dances don't come close to the romantic-ness of prom.
Driving, real dating, all of that...you would think that 15 years of people saying, "They grow up so fast" would have made me believe it, but no. I didn't know this day would come so quickly.