My biggest fear for the last 12 years has been losing my daughter. In one way or many ways, I always knew that when the preteen/teen years came, our relationship would begin to dissolve.
I don't mean go away completely, but dissipate or fade even. One day she wont wave bye at the bus stop or kiss me when I drop her off at her friends house. One day she will scream "I hate you." while she stomps with fury off to her bedroom and slams the door.
Some of my friends have already had these moments with their kids. Some of my friends will soon enough. My relationship with my daughter isn't perfect, as I have balanced the role of mom and dad alone for her entire life, but I do a pretty decent job. I also know when to put my phone down and pay attention to the greatest thing that ever happened to me.
Tonight, I entered the cafeteria to my old middle school - my daughters current middle school - for a science event. As more and more families piled in, moms grouped off into cliques and oddly enough so did their daughters. I watched these small kids experimenting with these awesome science projects while their parents couldn't stop texting for five seconds. All the while I hung out next to my daughter. She walked away once because I was being too slow. She saw her friends and she said hi. Even wrapped her arm around one for a half-hug, but she didn't leave my side. We walked from station to station like two friends would - maybe we were in our own clique? She wasn't embarrassed that I was there with my chin on her shoulder watching science experiments or rolling up her sleeve as she stuck her hand in a pile of goo. She didn't seem to mind when I tucked the strand of hair behind her ear and oinked like a pig in that same ear to tease her.
One day I may not be so fortunate.
She will tell me to go away.
She will tell me I embarrass her.
She will even tell me she hates me - I am pretty sure all kids do.
Right now, she is still my little bird.
She lets me hold her hand and she still kisses me on the lips.
She snuggles me before bed every night and she makes sure to tell me she loves me just before I turn off the light.
Some people's babies are grown up and have moved away, some have grown only so much and passed away, and some don't have babies of their own.
I have been endlessly blessed to have every ounce of love I could ever need.
Someone once said "I married my soul mate."
Well I made mine.