Currently, my daughter is shopping for clothing on-line, taking driver’s ed, and signing up for counselor-in-training sessions at her favorite summer camp. Fifteen and fabulous…where has all the time gone? Ten years of single parenthood can feel like thirty, or it can feel like an instant. Like when she trounces out the door to high school, and I see a flash of that round-faced toddler, petulant blue eyes looking up at me and baby-fine hair lying rumpled round her head like the halo of a very turbulent angel. Her favorite toddler phrase: “No! I do it!”, often followed by a high-pitched scream if she didn’t get her way. They say that what you see in your toddler is what you will see in your teenager, but I disagree. She’s got more patience than I do half the time now, often reminding me to consider the perspective of others’ in making decisions.
Children often end up being our biggest teachers, but there are days when I’d give my last dollar to be alone again with that turbulent angel, struggling to pay the bills, wiping up piles of milk and cereal off the floor, watching her fall asleep in a pull-out bed beside me in our small studio apartment. The challenges are not what I remember now, in fact, the challenges only made our closeness stronger. Remember to cherish it; that’s what I would remind my younger self.