By No Fault Of My Own

After the Fall Formal, I was a designated chauffeur for the junior high girls, shuttling them from the dance to the restaurant. I packed a book in my purse, hoping to avoid the other mom-chauffeurs and be anti-social as I relaxed for an hour or so alone. My plan didn't work; I was spotted by another mom as I stepped from the van and was asked to sit with her and her husband as we waited for the girls and their dates to wind down the night. Shortly after being seated, another mom joined us in our booth to round out a quartet.

We talked about our school years and how the styles are coming back around to haunt us. We discussed the mullet (Lord, send a memo to Somerset that it's time to let it go, Amen) and rednecks (i.e., ourselves) and school teachers. Somewhere in the course of conversation I realized that I don't know anyone. I don't know the kids in our school except for the ones my own children are friends with. I don't know the teachers or custodians unless the kids have brought them to my attention. I don't know the old man on Main Street that's a little creepy. And I don't know the parents of the kids at school.

We discussed school, and boyfriends of the girls, and what went on between so and so and why they broke up. The other parents were speculating on this theory and that. And I realized that I knew what they were talking about. I knew who was dating whom, and what went on between those girls, and why he broke up with her. And in a blinding flash of illumination I said aloud, "do your girls not talk to you?"

Three heads snapped to stare at me. Six eyes looking at me as though I spoke a different language. Questions hanging above heads were visibly stating, "she can't mean what she just said. It's impossible." And in a weird turn of events, it was the other parents trying to fit in and pretend that they weren't the odd ones out. It was the other parents scrambling to make sense of the conversation and attempt to know what I was talking about. It was the other parents trying to cover for the fact that they don't have the best-friend relationship with their daughters that I do.

I'm humbled. What did I do right in this great game of parenting to deserve such trust and respect from my teen aged daughter? I take no credit for the fact that my daughter and I are best friends. I simply enjoy it. I can't see the future, and the teen years that stretch out before us, so for now I thank my God that we have what we do. And pray that we only grow closer, my daughter and I.

14 comments:

Molly said...

you will only grow closer! I was basically similar to becky in so many ways, from what i've read in your posts. I'm 21 and my mom is one of my best friends, as is my little sister. She knows everything about me!

HalfAsstic.com said...

That? is the most awesome thing ever! I am wowed by you. I bow down to you. I can't believe I KNOW you. You are an.....anomaly.
But I am SO happy it's like that for you. :-)

Viv said...

Good for you!

How lucky you guys are to have each other.

Pam said...

Oh karen! I am in awe of you! I hope and pray that my daughter and I can talk freely and have this bond as she grows! I want to know what is going on in her life and what she thinks and fears. I pray that we can have this relationship. I did not have this growing up and I want my daughter to have a different experience. I hope I can learn and live from your example! Good for you!!!

Jennifer said...

I really really really wish you knew the secret... so you could share with me! I hope and pray I can have at least a LITTLE bit of a relationship like that with Maggie. SO IMPORTANT to be in touch with the girls during the teen years, so they don't get lost.

(Keri) Auburn Gal Always said...

Once again, I must admit that you're my hero!

Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

The relationship that you and Becky have is awesome, and it is so sad that it is an anomaly in this day and age (says she who is 31.) I hope that you continue to be close, and that you will continue to share your relationship with us - with two little girls, I need all the guidance I can get!

caramama said...

What did you do right? I think you are just you, and that is what you do right. I've always thought you have great parenting instincts, and this just proves it!

My mom and I are close and can talk about all sorts of things. I believe that a huge part of it was that my mom took the time to hang out and talk WITH me, not TO me. It sounds like that's what you do. Keep on doing it!

SunflowerMom said...

Sighs... sounds perfect to me. I hope to stay close to my kids as they grow. And that they want me to be close.

Karen Deborah said...

TIME you are a full time real time all the time MOM--quality time is big cheap gip. Kids need parents and when they have them day in and day out--you know what's going on because your home. AND you really love your kids. I say it again, your a great mom!!

Brandie said...

That is so cool! I hope my girls are still talking to me when their teenagers!

And, I secretly love mullets. Every guy I ever dated had a mullet. My husband and brother still tease me about it.

The Sports Mama said...

Like any good relationship, the one with your children takes work. The one with your teenage children takes even more work. That one is kind of like a salaried position.... the same amount of pay for more energy and time put in. :)

But that relationship is so worth it! I never thought I'd have the openness and honesty I've got with my teenager, but it totally rocks!

Michelle said...

such a wonderful relationship you both have!

the planet of janet said...

that? that, my dear, is awesome and what it's all about.

i have a similar relationship with roo and i treasure every second of it.

yay us.