21 December, 2012

The Sweet Side of Roles Reversed

I remember the days when my daughter would speak of the bitter side of aging; of moving from single digits to the double variety; leaving ayear she loved to enter the unknown; being one year older and one year less a child.
It appears in this, as in many others of late, our roles have reversed.  It is me that notes the bitter side of the sweetness of her age; her being that much closer to no longer being a little girl; her no longer needing me in the same way she once did.
Our roles have evolved throughout her life.  I cherished being pregnant and having her protected, with me, all the time.
Her infant and toddler years in which it was all a mystery and an experience - the challenge of determining what it was she needed and wanted and ensuring that I gave her the room to fly all while keeping her safe.
Her "kid" years with friends, teachers, and venturing that much farther from the nest but still needing to know exactly where I was in the audience or when I would be home from an evening out with friends.
And now, now she is more independent than not
She is still a kid, but not
She no longer needs to know where I sit or the exact time of my return, just the assurance that I am there.
She no longer looks to my eyes to find tear shaped love on my cheeks.
She does not note the bitter side of the end of a year or the changing of her age.  She embraces it all.  My butterfly is consistently working to strengthen her wings and explore new situations and her place within them.
Our roles are reversing.  I am learning to be a different kind of mom, the mom that she needs now, and I move to find new ways to engage and share her life.
When the curtain closed on two weeks and six performances, it was me who worked to find the balance and experienced the sadness of seeing her take that last bow after a dance she not only performed but executed with delight and passion.  While she casually talked with friends and sat down to finish her home work, I retreated to find comfort in this new reality with this new daughter and the different relationship.
Only days later did I learn that she too, for just a moment, recognized the end of the show and the sorrow of not dancing the part again.  For her, it was quickly replaced with the joy of having entertained and done her best.  That smile that rivaled the spotlight in which she stood - pure, exonerated joy.
How can I not be filled with love for that daughter and every form of her before and that will come?
This then is for her, for changing relationships, for children and parents learning more about themselves and ways to share their lives.
Here's to a beautiful butterfly who is nearly ready to fly, and a mamma who is thrilled to share in her life.


BigLittleWolf said...

These moments of role reversal are so poignant.

I recall when my younger son called from college - to ask me how I was doing.

He was checking up on me. He does it from time to time. Just the fact of it leaves me moved to tears.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi TE .. great post - and at least you're realising the changing face of Mamma is needed as time goes.

Lovely thoughts and I feel certain your daughter will be as caring of you .. as BLW's son is of her ..

Have a Happy Christmas and festive time together ... happy days - Hilary