My Daughter, My Friend

My daughter is 15. I’m 33. You do the math.

At 17 when you find our that you’re having a baby your world literally flips over. A few times. No more dancing. No more parties in the woods. No more Bongo jeans or bodysuits. Mom said : “If you want jeans and baby needs diapers….” Yes. Life was about to drastically change.

Having a baby was just too much for my boyfriend. We had a lot of growing up to do and decided to do it separately. He was my first love. I was heartbroken. Friends were no longer allowed to be my friend. They weren’t allowed to hang out with me anymore. I was a bad influence. I was… Shhhhhh Pregnant!

The birth itself was life changing. I almost lost her. She was blue when she came out. She wasn’t crying. This precious gift that I called my Angel Baby had saved my life. She saved me from my crazy teenage self, my bad decisions. She was my reason for growing up. For being better. I hadn’t even held her yet and she was my heart. My whole heart.

I swore right then that I would do everything I could to protect her. To love her. She was my life. My entire world. I would be honest with her and I would share my experiences and my mistakes, my heartaches with her. I wanted her to know she could come to me with anything, anytime. No matter what. That little girl would be my heart forever, regardless.

I obviously haven’t told her everything about my life, my past. But I haven’t lied to her either. I am so full of flaws and each and every flaw, every mistake has a lesson attached to it. If she can learn that lesson from my mistakes and not live through the pain herself; what parent wouldn’t want that for their kids? Unfortunately, our kids, my daughter, have to make those mistakes themselves too.

I love to laugh with my daughter, I love to listen to her when she reads me her Tweets and her texts. Sometimes they make me cringe. That’s my BABY! But it’s reality. Kids are going to do things that they shouldn’t.

Not everyone agrees with how other parents handle things. Punishments or lack thereof. The world is full of judgment.
I couldn’t tell you much about my parents’ childhoods. I couldn’t tell you much about their teen years or their years before me. I decided early on that I wanted my daughter to know me. Really know me.

She is my daughter. She is my friend. When she’s an adult I think we’ll go have a margarita together and talk about our day. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that either. When I got home from tap the other night, she hugged me and listened to my stories. When I’m mad or sad or even falling for someone, she can tell. She knows who has hurt me and who has helped me, a lot of times without me even having to say a word. She just knows me.

At the same time though, she is a teenager. MY teenager. So she has taken advantage of the way I am. She has lied to me, betrayed me, used me. She has made me question the way I am, the way I have chosen to be with her.

Being a single mom when I had her, forced a bond that only we truly get. Life has come full circle and now that I am a single mom again, with her and now her 2 brothers as well; I would like to think that there is a newfound respect for everything she and I went through.

Not everyone “gets” us. But not everyone needs too. She needs to know that I am her mom and that I will give my life for her and her brothers. She needs to respect me. But friendships, good ones anyway, are built on love, trust and respect also.

-S

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