Becoming Adept at Biting My Tongue

Two days ago, my daughter and I took off from our Rust Belt home, on the way to SoCal and getting her registered for school.

I’m sure it is easier to launch the space shuttle than it was to get my little birdie into the car.

Regrets? I’m sure she had a few. First off, she’ll be a couple thousand miles or so away from mom and dad and their open pocketbooks. She inherited the spendthrift gene from me, and let’s face it, she’s had a comfortable life. It’s going to be hard for her to keep a budget, although God only knows we’ve been trying to get her to do that the last couple of years. If all else fails, she should do as I did and find herself a mate who is a tightwad (um, I mean thrifty).

She’ll also be a couple thousand miles away from her friends. This includes the current boy du jour. Yes, they are in love. Well, as much in love as a couple of 18 year olds can be. I was half expecting her to back out of moving to California.

It’s not like she’s going to be completely adrift with no friendly faces nearby. Her older brother will be somewhat close by, if you consider a five hour car trip to visit a sibling you’ve been in competition with all your life close. My sister is an hour drive to the south, but Ms. MiniD thinks my sister doesn’t like her. She just doesn’t know that my sister is quite opinionated (like me) and not very laid back (not like me).

The teary goodbye with the boyfriend and the best friend on Wednesday lasted for an hour. I was only moderately annoyed, because I was in tears too. The only way I was able to get her into the car was by flipping the radio over to a classical station and turning it up loud. She got in to change it back to rap-n-crap, and we were on our way.

I tried to talk to Ms. MiniD during the long car ride to the Rockies. You know, say sage nuggets like sure you’ll make new friends, this is a great opportunity for you, you’ll probably have a new boyfriend in a couple of months, etc. Don’t worry. I never got to that point. She did not want to talk, and instead spent a great deal of the time sleeping.

I instead remembered back to when I was 18. I was married. I left home without much fanfare. I don’t remember saying goodbye to my parents, much less to my best friends from high school. One day, I decided it was time to leave my city (having already left my childhood home a few months before that), canceled my lease and my telephone and left. I didn’t have money from my parents, or a credit card, but my own money. A year later, when I “came home” I went to my friend’s house and stayed there until I found an apartment. Later, when I moved to the Tundra to go to college, I was responsible for the tuition, living expenses and trips home to visit mom and dad. Money (or lack of it) was the reason why I didn’t finish college, and it limited my trips home.

My daughter is planning her triumphant Christmas return, even though I have tried to explain to her that we have depleted our resources just getting her to California. If I have to limit my own pleasure trips to the Left Coast because of the money, she will have to bite the bullet and get a job to buy a plane ticket. The days of wine and roses has past, especially with two kids in private college. Besides, if you’re truly an ADULT, you should be able to figure it out on your own.

I still want to say something, but know I shouldn’t do it. She’s not going to listen to me. Kids that age think they know everything. They won’t admit they know nothing until they have their own little birdies.

Instead, I’ve become adept at biting my tongue.

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Aging Really Sucked Last Night

During a break in Forced Family Fun Night yesterday, my daughter loudly proclaimed who she was voting for (Barack Obama) and who she would never vote for (Hillary Clinton).

Not thinking, I replied, “You can’t vote for anyone yet!”

Both she and my husband yelled in unison, “She/I can, TOO!”

I had conveniently forgotten that she turns 18 in July.

How I could forget that happening is totally crazy. We’ve been filling out college applications online for the last month. I’ve been shelling out application fees with the credit card so much that I now have memorized the number and the security code.

My baby is almost an adult!

She will be trying to establish residency in California soon after her birthday. This means a drivers’ license and registering to vote, using her brother’s address. If she completes these tasks soon after her birthday, she should be allowed to vote in November.

This is unfathomable to me. It seems like just yesterday, she was learning to talk and be potty trained. It was just yesterday that she fell on her chin while learning to ride a bike (the only skin on her head not covered by protective helmet). It had to be just ten minutes ago that she learned how to drive.

I like that my birdie is ready to fly out of the nest, but it still comes as a shock to realize it will be so soon.

After realizing my misspoken words, I retreated, silently, into a box of Godiva. Chocolate is the only cure for old age.