Monday, January 12, 2009

This Used to be My Playground

It's an odd thing, this mother-daughter relationship.

Tom has always said that he doesn't understand the jealousy involved in the mother-daughter dynamic. I always told him he was smoking crack. I wasn't jealous of my daughters - I was proud of them, and happy for them - but never jealous. They certainly weren't jealous of me.

And then a pair of shoes brought it all crashing down unexpectedly on my head.

Lea bought the cutest shoes this weekend. She knew I'd love them and she knew I'd say yes. She also knew the first words out of my mouth would be, "did they have my size?" Before she could even jog off to check, though, I told her "never mind." Why? Because it's not my turn. There is not a single aspect of my life that cannot be properly accommodated by shoes already in my possession.

It's not my turn. It's her turn. Her turn to wear cute shoes and cute clothes. Her turn to go to the movies and giggle with friends and talk about cute boys. Her turn to dream about dances and what her life will be like when she's grown. It's her turn. I had my turn. My turn is over. It's her turn.

And I'm sorry - I mean, I really really am - but I do find myself a little jealous. I hadn't planned on being such a cliche. But I wasn't done with this ride yet. I don't want to go to the back of the line. I'm not ready.

Which is not to say that I don't want her to have her turn - I do! I most sincerely do! But can't we ride the ride together? Why does the beginning of her turn have to mean the end of mine?

Because it just does. I should've gotten off this ride years ago, anyway. I can go get on a different ride, I suppose. One where the shoes and clothes are more practical than cute. One that moves a little slower. One that doesn't have as many restrictions about who should and shouldn't ride. I'd be more comfortable there, anyway. I know this.

I just don't want to.


Jenny Penny said...

I just started following your blog, and I love it! (To reduce the creepy factor, I should let you know I used to work with Chris Z. when she was fresh out of college, back in NC.) Honestly, I wasn't aware of the mom-daughter jealousy syndrome until I read your entry here. And now you've got me thinking about how I'll behave when my 5-year-old moves to the front of the line. Thanks for the heads-up!

Tammy Howard said...

Aw, thanks for the kind words! I'm new to yours too - I'm giving you a heads up and you (and Chris) are giving me a hilarious trip down memory lane!

Swine said...

Could it be, Tammy, you're not so much jealous as frustrated? Because kids don't know shit? And at our age, if we could be their age, we'd so frakkin rule? Just a thought.