Of course, Maya has been growing up for over 17 years now. Seeing the Royal Baby in the news reminds me of how little my own baby once was. I remember, sometimes fondly, how sweet and dependent she once was.
And now…now she’s 17, with a driver’s license, going to appointments and the grocery store on her own. Taking the train into Berkeley to see a movie with her friends. I confess to being a bit over-protective. I make her appointments for her, pick up her prescriptions for her, that kind of thing. She could do these things for herself, and probably she should. She needs to be ready when she goes away, ready to know how to make appointments and take care of things. She needs to be able to cook a meal or two. She can, actually, cook a meal or two. She can do laundry and clean house. But I think she needs more, in order to feel confident when the time comes for her to leave. She needs to know that she can take care of herself, even if it’s still with a little bit of help from us, once in awhile.
In the meantime, this is all new to me. New to me to have her gone and not check up with everyone involved beforehand. She went to a movie the other night (Much Ado About Nothing) in Berkeley with her friends. Two friends, both girls of her own age. The BART ride there didn’t bother me, but the BART ride home was after dark, and made me a little nervous. It’s new to me to have her running errands or going out with her friends during the day, in the car. She went to lunch last week, and I’ll admit that I asked for a text to tell me she got there safely. It’s just downtown, but we live in the Bay Area. The streets are not as busy as San Francisco, or even Berkeley, but they are much busier than the streets of Stockton where I grew up. She’s been going out on her own to get exercise, on the trails that I walk all of the time on my own. I feel confident that I can handle most issues that might occur there, and I’m getting used to the ideas that, 1. perhaps she might be able to as well, and 2. nothing is likely to happen there. Sigh. It’s difficult. I’m trying.
What for you, fellow moms of teens or adult children, was the most difficult change to adjust to? I predict her not living here anymore when she’s away at college, that will be a doozey. (Ted and I both did the community college thing for our first 2 years while living at home, and that may be a good option for Maya as well…so I’m not sure yet WHEN she’ll be away at college. But I know it will happen sooner rather than later.) But what, when they were still at home? What made you nervous and want to watch your phone for an update? And maybe, what still does?