Wednesday, April 22, 2009

20% Mine

Sam has been asking me for weeks to come and eat lunch with her. The first time she offered up the idea, I was a little stunned. "Do other parents come eat lunch at your JUNIOR HIGH?" I asked. She responded, "of course, and they always bring McDonald's".

So, today we ate lunch. I sat with her and her giggling friends in a monstrous cafeteria filled with 6th graders. She pointed out the 'hot' boy she sits by and the mean girl that is 14 yrs. old and still in 6th grade. I watched her interact with her friends and use way too many eye rolls and animated hand movements. I have to admit, I even told her friends some embarrassing stories about her.

As lunch ended she gave me a kiss and a hug and then disappeared into a sea of backpacks. I watched as she was swallowed into the hallway. As she walked away I realized that she is 80% teenager and 20% mine. She argues and talks back and has an attitude that could stun a gorilla. But underneath all of that she is still willing to ask me to come to her junior high and eat lunch, and then give me a kiss on the way out.

I'm not sure how long the 20% will stick around. Some days it looks like it has vanished under her eye shadow. Then there are other days where she sits by me on the couch and rests her head on my shoulder. Those moments sustain me through the endless crying and "It's not fair!!"

But, what if she thinks the same thing about me? 80% of the time I'm downright annoying and strict. 20% of the time I'm likable. Which can't be right, because, let's just be honest here, I'm never annoying. Maybe a little grating. But never annoying. And at the end of the day, as I look at my first born, all I really see is 100% love. She gets all of it, for always.


Straight Fancy said...

Perfectly written. Soon she'll be married with babies of her own and she'll want 100% of her Mama with her for every step. She's lucky to have you!

Kerri said...

Ugh...I know this feeling all too well. My oldest son, Whitney, is in 6th grade and I have felt him slowly slip away this year. I often refer to him as my 'man child' - he's 5'1", 105 lbs and not my baby anymore :( There are still days I see glimpses on my baby but they are fleeting.

Amanda Holbrook said...

I love this post. Tears. I feel the same way. My 11 year old is right behind you. She is so mature and I marvel at how time has passed me by and I am staring into teenage years when I see her. It makes me sad. I am glad that Sam still wants you to eat lunch with her. Really, so sweet.

Jim said...

Hey, found your blog by way of Raquel. I've only read a bit, but, I'm sure I'll be back!

I have two little girls, 3 and 5. After reading this post, I think I have 90% of one and 80% of the other. I dread the day that that proportion changes...

Great insight, thanks!!