I remember just about a year ago, it hit me: A few months of summer and then she would be a freshman in high school.
That’s when I stopped breathing.
Would it be as awkward for her as it was for me? Would the same things happen to her?
Would she learn the important stuff, like how to be a friend, how to be safe, how to be happy?
Not all of her tests were marked as stellar. Not all curfews met.
There were disagreements with friends and flirtations with potential romantic interests. She rode around in cars with teens who were her elders, yet her peers. She made it home alive.
There were triumphs and disappointments, all accompanied by drama. Her drama. In her room. In this house.
A beautiful face buried in an iPhone.
She became mysterious. Inaccessible at times. However, at times she needed me like when she was a toddler. Her skills so much more developed, the challenges greater.
The hugs were as easy to give as when she was two years old.
Her freshman year officially ended a few days ago and I allowed myself to breathe.
I missed it, the air, the oxygen, the freedom.
I will not miss the fear.
Her time in high school is not going to be like it was for me.
She is not me.
She isn't even mine.
Yes, I gave birth to her. This is true.
However, she belongs to the world.
And she will be ready.