Literally overnight, I lost my child. Her love and affection seemed suddenly and completely lost to me forever. She went to bed a sweet, loving child of ten and woke up with a period and an attitude problem. I don’t want to trivialize this. It was not just an attitude. It was awful. I was not prepared for this.
My oldest daughter didn’t menstruate until she was thirteen, just like me. I blame my youngest’s excessive diet of chicken nuggets. Silently, nature declared defeat in the battle against my nurturing.
Suddenly, smiling was only for losers. And I was Queen of the loser club, gathering recruits everywhere I went. Everything that anyone in our household did or said quickly annoyed her to no end. I tried to not get offended by her sudden spurning of me, but my heart ached for the child I knew was now gone.
I called my mother one evening and was whining to her like I tend to do on most days. I told her I didn’t remember ever having an attitude like this or having hormonal rages. She scoffed and reminded me of how I treated her real quick. She also reminded me how I cried and literally stomped my feet at fourteen after being told I had eaten enough chocolate for the night. I locked myself in the bathroom for four hours after not getting tickets to the NKOTB concert, clearing delighting my parents with a break from me.
I have come to accept this inevitable change, but every now and then, I get a glimpse of my baby girl. Even so, I know the monster is just sleeping. I also know, as the mother of a grown daughter, that she will come back to me one day.
She will suddenly find herself calling me every day and missing the things she hates about me now. That is what is keeping me from despair.
I also know that by focusing on the growing pains, I am unable to see the masterpiece that is forming right in front of me. Through this suffering, a vibrant and brilliant woman will rise up ready to change the world.
In the meantime, I still have my dogs.