Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter … however… this is the year I have been waiting for. I realized that even when she was little and sweet and funny and adorable, I dreamed of the year when she would be nineteen and I would be forty. And, then when she was growing up and grumpy and snarly and annoying, I really dreamed of the day when she would be nineteen and I would be forty! I love her – I need to reiterate this because society frowns on mothers who appear not to love their children. However, motherhood was never really on my ‘To Do’ list. You know, that classic “20th/21st Century White North American Heterosexual Girl” To Do List:
1. Be popular in high school.
2. Be popular and successful in college/university.
3. Meet a handsome young man who is on the path to the appropriate, societally sanctioned great job (preferably doctor or lawyer).
4. Marry that man.
5. Complete degree (this can be accomplished before #4)
6. Get a great job and become basically accomplished.
7. Have babies.
8. Be an awesome mom – which apparently means hot yoga, skinny jeans, making your own baby food, keeping an immaculate house, throwing delightful dinner parties that are totally not catered, owning a charming old house in a character neighbourhood, driving a hybrid SUV, maintaining a part-time job as a freelance writer or event planner, and making sure your lovely children want for nothing and grow up to be replicas of yourself and your doctor/lawyer/architect/inventor-of-fancy-IT-things husband.
9. Retire to Hawaii, Las Vegas or possibly Bhutan.
10. Live happily ever after.
Nope! Only one of those things was also on my To Do list – complete degree. So, as much as I love my daughter and I did a pretty good job of being a mom – I did make her baby food, but that was because we were poor. I didn’t exactly embody the role of Mother. In fact, she’ll be nineteen in a few weeks and I still feel a little weird signing ‘Mom’ on her birthday cards. So, I admit, almost from the time she was born I looked forward (mostly) to the day I could say, “Well, I finished that job, on with the rest of my life.” Now here I am at that magic nineteen/forty point. And, even though she no longer lives in my house and she is basically a grown up I am just coming to the realization that this job isn’t really over and that maybe this is the just the beginning of the interesting part of motherhood.