Friday, August 12, 2011

I Don't know how to handle this with Grace or Dignity

Four years ago, I held a tiny baby boy in my arms. I only had a few moments to study his face and imagine how his eyes might have sparkled when he smiled and what his voice would have sounded like when he called me Mom. And then I had to say good-bye.

Fifteen and a half years ago, I held my baby girl in my arms. She has the most beautiful eyes and a gorgeous smile. She still calls me Momma. I am so very proud of her. She is smart and full of personality. She is so very confident and strong and honest and loving. She makes friends easily and always stands up for those who can not stand up for themselves. In just a few days she will be flying to Haiti on a missions trip (with people that she doesn't even know) and working in an orphanage. She is beautiful inside and out. She is the person that I wish I was.

She is fifteen.
And She is breaking my heart

You see, She's just announced that when she returns from Haiti, she will be leaving my house and going to live with her dad. She has already said good-bye to all of her friends. She quit her band. She is ready to register for school in a town two hours away from here. This decision was swift and unexpected. "You've done nothing wrong Mom," she tells me, "It's just that I want to spend time with my dad." She is very much like her father in this way. It's all or nothing with them. She will not be satisfied with seeing him every weekend. Her mind is made up. She was too young to remember the reasons why her dad and I split up, and too young to understand the complexities of our relationships.

I am broken. Everything I've done in the last 18 years, I've done with my kids best interests at heart. Sure, I've made mistakes, but I haven't taken one step without thinking of them first. I've cherished every moment with them and can't help but feel that my daughter is being ripped away from me far too soon. I was not prepared for this. I thought I had a few more years until I had to let her go and that she would be heading off to college or university and that we could have shared those decisions and that experience together. I want to know her friends and her boyfriends. I want to take her to get her driver's license. I want to be the one who's there for her when life doesn't go according to plan.

It sure isn't going according to MY plan! My head tells me that I need to be supportive of her and let her make her own decisions (*MISTAKES*) and that's what I'm trying to do, but my heart and every other cell in my body is screaming NO!!!... FIGHT! I want to hold on. I don't want her to go. I don't want to miss out on this precious time with her...This time that I thought I had earned. I thought it was mine. Maybe I need her more than she needs me.

I Don't know how to handle this with Grace or Dignity.


RB said...

I know its hard to let her go. Maybe she will soon realize what she is missing and come back home.

Jan said...

Thanks RB. Nice to hear from you. Are you still blogging? How are you?

Unknown said...

Pardon me, I am but a stranger, but the concept of being separated from someone you love is straight forward and common one. If you want to stand the best chance of getting her to live with you, or even to visit you regularly you're going to have to not only be accepting, but Genuinely supportive, meaning encouraging her to get to know her father better, for better or worse. Do this and the 2 hours of distance will seem like nothing to her. I live 12 hours from the people I miss most and I still manage to see them every two weeks. None the less, best of luck.

Unknown said...

As a mother I feel your pain. When my husband and I separated I had to allow my daughters to make their own decision as to whom they wanted to live with. The chose to come with me and I would have been devastated, as their father was, if they had chosen the other way. Maybe she needs this time with her father at this stage in her life but there is a bond between mother and daughter that a father's love cannot replace.
I have only just started blogging and I am enjoying being able to express my thoughts and feelings. In many ways it is therapy.
I would love you to read my blog and perhaps give me some feedback.

I feel we share a common thread.