Jillian's been gone yet another week to her dad's house. Well, technically, they were never home because they were off doing X, Y, Z (which reads super extra wicked cool fun ass stuff mommy never does). She came home today and she wasn't even home long enough to pee before we had to leave to get her "locker assignment" at the middle school. I'm having the anxiety while she's looking more than ready to get to school. Hmph, I bet she won't be saying that next week.
We walk into the middle school which apparently is only scary to ME and we find the table for the "Silver Cluster" and lo and behold I see a familiar face and I relax. This woman, who besides being an elementary school teacher, has a daughter who is friends with Jillian and in the same exact grade. The first words out of her mouth to me were, "Now let me give you some already been there-done that mommy advice..." The advice was something so simple I had to stop and try not to cry at what an asshole I felt like; decorating her locker. I never ever (and this is by no means trying to make my own mom feel guilty) had a decorating the locker moment so I had no clue that this is what you do. It is?! Apparently so as now I started noticing other moms helping their daughters with their locker; a mirror here, a magnet dry erase board there, a magnet clip, ooh look, even a goddamn shelf. A SHELF?! I just shoved my shit in there and hip-closed my locker door before said shit had time to fall out.
In my defense I think I did a good job at hiding the disappointment I was feeling. I should have known this, maybe or maybe not. I mean she IS my first so I have nothing to go by, and the one mom I know who has an "older" and has been through this before has fallen off the face of the earth this summer (and I'm trying not to be salty over my jealousy that she's been home for less than two days at a time I swear cause the family has been on vacation virtually all summer), and so she wasn't here to give me the scoop. Maybe I should have reached out to get scoop?! WTF do I know other than yes, I realize this is just a tiny blip in the otherwise well-known "mommy guilt" that we all have, but I still feel sad. I think I've missed a lot this summer in the two times that I blinked. My justification is this: Jillian won't be 11 forever and we are a family that will have her working as soon as she is able to and so I wanted her to enjoy her summer -- and enjoy it she did. Hell, we got home at 12:30 from doing the locker assignment and getting back-to-school haircuts and she was gone by 1:30 -- 1:24 to be exact but who is looking at the clock anyways.
I don't know. I just told my friend yesterday, and I mean this wholeheartedly, I want "this" house to be the house that Jillian and her friends come to because they feel comfortable and I want them to be here so I can keep them "safe." It's not that I don't trust Jillian's BFF's mom, because I do, but it's not "my" house. I know what a shitbird I was growing up. I have no doubt whatsoever that Jillian will try and pull the same shit I did. The only difference between my growing up and her growing up is that she has a mom who has the opportunity to work at home and keep tabs on her. As much as I bitch about working from home and the many cons outweighing the pros the last couple of years, I wouldn't go back to the office at this time in Jillian's life for anything. I believe these next few years are a big milestone and the most difficult time for a teen girl, and even if she doesn't come to me with the issues, at least I'm here to see when she needs me and hopefully just quietly remind her that I'm here for her and always will be. I hope that she takes me up on the offers when I give them. I want so much more for her than I had -- you know, every mom's desire.
In true April fashion I went on a tangent. I'll bring my thoughts back around by saying I'm so grateful I saw Mrs. Bertoncini today and so grateful for her "momtuition" and saving me a little bit of heartbreak that I would have had. I'm looking forward to decorating her locker with her tomorrow. Any little bit of extra Jillian time I can grab onto these days and pretend I'm not holding on for dear life, I'll take it because it's going to be gone before I even get the chance to blink twice.
*cheers my friends*
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