The following exchange happened via texts a few minutes ago between my daughter and me.
*sends a picture of an inner arm, with an insect bite or sting surrounded by quarter size pink area with a pink line creeping up the arm* “When did this happen?” “I don’t know, I just came in from outside and noticed it.” “Where’s your (epi) pen?” “I don’t think it works, it was recalled.” “How do you feel?” Then, “Are you alone? Take Benadryl” All in quick succession. If you thought that I was the concerned one, you would be wrong. My adult daughter and I have started to switch roles, a natural progression of life.
I noticed this for the first time this winter, when I accidentally drank acetone ( I know, ridiculous but true!) and as soon as I lifted my head from the sink, where I was trying to wash my mouth out and told myself to calm down and stop hyperventilating, she was the first person I thought of to text. 1. Because she works in an ER, and knows the number to poison control off the top of her head, and 2, because she is the calmest person I know in emergencies. She has a level head, a practical mind, and the ability to assess a situation immediately. FYI, I was fine, apparently it’s not as dire as it sounds to take a swig off a bottle of acetone, although I wouldn’t recommend it as it leaves a terrible aftertaste. More recently, I wrote something that I wanted her to read. I wanted her opinion on it, but more than that, I wanted her to say she liked it. “Have you read my post yet?” I asked her twice. “No, I haven’t had a chance.” she said. She is very busy. Her weekdays are like that of any working mom, harried, busy, no breaks until her daughter is sleeping, and even then, there is still work to be done. Weekends are full of games, practices and catching up on chores. I’m happy that she is busy and enjoying her life and her family. This is what parents want for their children when they are small. I wouldn’t want her life to be any different. but I miss her.
Gone are the days when I heard her say, “Mama, watch this” a hundred times a day, while she jumped off a swing or attempted a cart-wheel. I’m glad that I tried to pay attention and respond with one of many standard mom responses, “Wow! Great job! That’s awesome! You’re amazing…..” It’s a strange thing for a parent to ask their child for advice, for attention, and for approval if you think about it. But, I don’t usually think about it. It seems quite natural, actually. I do the same thing for my mother and someday Bean will do the same thing for hers. And now, I’m will pester my daughter to read this as soon as I post it, I wonder what she will say.