Friday, February 24, 2012

Lessons I am learning

Having a teenager isn't easy. Haven't two can be even harder at times, but thank goodness I am blessed with great children. We live fairly harmoniously in our household, with few serious, serious confrontations. When it comes to school, my teens are both quite self-motivated. Granted, my girl beats herself up over any less-than-perfect grade, while my boy just hopes that I will never find out if he bombed a test. But the balance is pretty good. That's the easy part.

The hard part is cutting the cord. My son has spent two weeks half way across the world without me, and I survived. It wasn't always pretty, but I did cope fairly well until he came back home. My daughter has gone on several three to four day field trips without me, and I have handled that with as much grace as I could muster. I would still rather be with them on each trip they make, but I know that's not practical. Plus my kids have gone from, "Mama, will you pleeeeeease come with me on the trip?" to, "Mama, I don't might if you want to come with me on the trip." Heck, I have my pride too, I know when I'm welcome!

But I don't think any of these smaller milestones have prepared me for my teenager beginning to drive independently. Today Safa is leaving school in a few minutes and headed about 10 miles down the road to a debate tournament. She will be driving home tonight, at the end of day 1, probably after 10pm. That is pushing teenager curfew in our city, but exceptions are made for school events and commuting back and forth from a job. I know I will be up waiting for her whenever she comes in. But I didn't realize how much her night time drive home has already been weighing on my mind. Early this morning I awoke with a sudden wrenching feeling in my stomach, and woke Zakir to ask him if he had heard Safa come in last night. His sleepy response, "No, was she supposed to?" Then I looked at the clock and realized it was 4am. So I said, "Oh, it's only Thursday." Zakir, now more awake, said, "No, it's Friday." And technically he was right. But for some reason I awoke thinking it was late Friday night and she hadn't come home; I was totally thrown off by almost 24 hours! Of course, after that night time scare it took me for ever to fall back asleep, and I awoke this morning feeling terrible. But for parents, that comes with the territory!

Admittedly, I am proud of her every new independence, every accomplishment, every step towards adulthood. But there is a part of me that wishes she were still just this little:


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