I am mentally going back in time to 4:00 today when I thought that yes in deed I can do it all and I can do it without stress. That was all before tonight's 30 minute long and very frustrating attempt at trying to access Caroline's online Spanish textbook. How can something that is supposed to be easy, be so frustrating?
We have had a few hiccups in this settling into fall, but things seem to be settling down. Caroline had a difficult time getting the hang of high school. Tonight was the first time that I got to hear her normally dry commentary on school life. Up until now, it has been mostly tears and worry. Her boyfriend of almost 11 months texted her (AT 10:00 WHEN WE WERE GETTING READY FOR BED) on Monday to break up with her. She has handled this so much better than I would have at her age. We have raised a seriously strong kid. It never ceases to surprise me how my daughters' struggles bring up my own dirty laundry and sad memories of bygone times. Her first break up reminded me of mine. It really is a funny story in the lines of "this could only happen to me."
I was on the phone with him and he got called to the front door. He set down the phone and when he stepped away, his mother took the opportunity to get on the phone and tell me that he wanted to break up, but didn't know how to tell me. I started crying and my mother walked in the room to hear me gulp out "Mrs. _________, I think that I need to get off the phone." My mother dropped what she was carrying and used her skills as a high school hurdler to leap over the coach in one bound while shouting "Mrs. ______? Give me that goddamn phone!" I hung up the phone before my mother could claw through the line to this woman. At the time, it felt like my world would end. Now this is what I remember: my step-father sitting up with me most of the night rubbing my back, his wise declaration that this would end up being a very small memory across my entire life, my very best friend (who is now an awesome dad to his own teen daughter) taking me to see Who Framed Roger Rabbit? that weekend, and always the amazing demonstration of maternal love and strength that my mother showed. Once she was done being so angry, she cried as hard as me. Not because she liked this boy, but because someone had caused her child pain.
This week, I didn't leap over any couches or cry. I did use some inappropriate words to describe this boy's manhood. I also curled up in my bed with my baby (who is taller than me) and her dog to tell her my story and watch her smile just a little. Even when she is a 40 year old grown up woman and I am a tired 67, I will still be willing to leap couches and embarrass myself all to help mend her heart and make her smile. I don't think that I will ever reach the point where I feel like I have given either of them enough. I would give them every ounce of myself if I could.