My oldest daughter, now twenty-five with two babies of her own, is at a crossroads. She has options, and has to make what could potentially be a life altering decision. And she’s asked my advice.
I never thought I’d see this day. From ages thirteen through twenty-one, she would hardly speak to me at all, let alone share anything with me, a stage I’m still getting used to from her little sister.
My twenty-five year old has always been independent, headstrong, and stubborn.
Okay, that’s MY fault. She gets that from me.
To suddenly ask for my input into her potentially life-altering decision has me a little flustered. I know it took a lot for her to do it, and I respect her for it. But at the time she was asking, I was afraid any sound I made would break the spell, that she’d regret having shared with me, or worse yet, regret having asked my opinion.
All I could tell her at the time, though, was that any decision required due diligence in its consideration. I also told her that only one of two things could happen: either a change would be made, or it wouldn’t. If it’s the fear of change, which she assured me it was not, then the only alternative is to allow things to remain the same. The decision is solely hers to make.
If only I could make decisions for her, or at least make them easier, I’d do it in a heartbeat. However, these are hers now.
But all of that had me thinking about the decisions I could have made for her over the years, advice I could have given her, if only I’d gotten to her more quickly.
For instance, I could have prevented her attempt to use a VCR to re-heat a grilled cheese sandwich. It wouldn’t have been a life-altering decision, I know; she was only two. But the VCR would have certainly thanked me.
Maybe I could have also prevented her from stuffing into her four-year-old little nose all those tiny Styrofoam pebbles from her favorite toy.
If the decision had been mine to make, she’d have never fallen for that first boyfriend. Or the next four, for that matter.
But all I can tell her for certain now is that I love her, and I trust her to make the right decisions for her and her babies all by herself. She’s all grown up now. And she’s smart.
I like to think that’s my fault, too.