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Monday, April 21, 2014

I Let My Daughter Fail ........ On Purpose

The book was to be read by today.  She's known since before Spring Break.  She left it in her locker,  quite possibly on purpose.  She told her teacher she left it in her locker over Spring Break hoping she'd get more time.  She didn't.

She loves to read.  She didn't want to read this book.

Procrastination and bad choices eating away at her.

It's down to the last weekend.  The weather is warm and sunny for the first time in months. Spring Fever takes over her heart and her head.  She goes to her friend's on Friday night, they laugh, they play all day on Saturday.  Warm, sunny, wonderful days of play.

Saturday night the hangover of procrastination station is throbbing in her head.  She says, "I have to read this book by Monday."  I glance over, remind her that Sunday is Easter and we will be with family all day.

Easter comes, He is Risen, it is warm and beautiful. Church is good, the candy from the bunny is good, the dress looks good with the shoes.  Lunch comes with Grandma and Grandad in tow. We eat, we laugh, we enjoy.

Evening comes still warm and sunny. The bike and the skateboard and the sidewalk chalk call us out to play.

She states her intentions, "I'm going in at 8pm to shower and read until bedtime."  Sounds good, I reply, reminding her that it is Spring and 8pm will be as bright as day.  She sighs.

It's 8:30 with wet hair and jammies she climbs the stairs to pay her dues.  I braid her hair and watch her settle in.

I leave her to her work.

At 9:45 I tell her 15 more minutes and she's going to have to give it up for the night.  She's crying, crying for me to come and save her or comfort her or just share in her angst.

I climb the stairs and there she is, my small girl clutching the book with far more pages to read then minutes left in her world.  And there on her cheeks are the tears, big balloons splashing down her cheeks.

The remorse spills from her lips with excuses she knows are untruths but she says them anyway trying to comfort her pain.  I listen and tell her I'm sorry she's in such a bad spot.  She smells my "told you so" even though it's not been spoken.  It reeks and fills the room.  I wave it away and earnestly tell her I'm sorry she's in this place.  I help her decipher the magnitude.  How many pages, how much time?  There's the car ride to school, the first prep period before she must meet her judgement day.  She swallows hard.   I swallow hard.

I wanted to try and save her so many times.  I mentioned the book, she fought back.  I chose not to take on the battle with her and for her. I decided it's time to learn a different way.  The harder way, the kind that sticks.

This transition for my baby girl to young woman, what a beautiful mess.  Her trying to navigate the ways of the world, me trying to decide when to drive and when to ride along.  We stumble, we fall, her messes and lessons leaving matching scars in me.