27 days of learning that time is unforgiving. Waste a minute and it’s gone. Fritter away an afternoon pissed off about this or that and all you’ve done is lost an afternoon. Last night I was watching the girls play as a slideshow of picture flowed on the monitor above their heads. Incredulity doesn’t begin to scrape the surface of how I feel about Briar turning four this year. Four.
If four years can go by in the blink of an eye, then before I know it I’ll be watching our daughters at 4, 6 and 8.
12, 14 and 16.
While my mom was visiting she looked at Avery, so sure and independent, and said, “That one, she’s just on loan to you.”
On loan, not too far from the truth when you think how soon it will be our job to stand back and allow her to forge her own path. Squeezing hands and biting back my own opinions because it will be her life. I have moments when I believe I’ll be able to do it and others when I think 50 years wouldn’t be enough time to do all that I want to as a mom. I am well aware that they’ll need us beyond 18, but the boundaries change. The privilege of intervention and opinion becomes tenuous, a blend of respect and patience must be practiced. We each have a birthright that comes into play – life, our own life.
We watched Juno the other night, seeing a 16 year old pregnant, no judgement, just the glaring reality that in about 10 years my own baby will be able to have a baby. My brain hurts, my heart aches and my breath sprints. How to keep up. How to make the most of every minute without falling prey to the allure of bitching and regretting.
The more I live, the more I learn, the more I realize I have no idea how I’ll do it until I am there. If I do get confronted by the pregnant at 16 scenario I hope I can be as kick-ass an ally as Allison Janney in the ultrasound lab*.
*Under no circumstances (says the woman with one, two, three daughters) is the inclusion of that flip line to be considered any sort of invitation or foreshadowing of an ability to cope with a pregnant teen. Oy, three daughters…I was still a virgin at 16, that should count for something, right?