“Mom, today we had a workshop in the school,” Darling Daughter chirped.
“Oh studying abroad and all that. There were representatives of a few universities from Canada and the USA who were explaining everything.”
“Ya, after school. Kids go to college you know,” she was talking slowly, as if explaining to a child.
My mind was in a funk. Normally I am not slow brained. In fact I have a university gold medal that absolutely proves the fact. This sudden mental paralysis was due to a whopping blow to my consciousness. It had struck me that Darling Daughter was no more a cuddly baby or an endearing toddler. She was a grown girl, on the threshold of being a teenager.
The symptoms had started creeping in for the past few years. There was this aversion to cuddling. Those loving hugs had petered out.
“Ouch mom, are you trying to asphyxiate me?”
My erstwhile birthright sentence, “Now give momma a kissy before you go” was met with a disdainful look. Momma no more got the kisses. Only an irritated eye-roll.
All the clothes I bought for her now were unacceptable. “Mom I will come with you the next time you go clothes shopping.”
“Mom, who buys birthday hats anymore?”
And then the ubiquitous statement, “You will not understand mom…”
So these indications were there. Only I did not heed them. Before I knew I had turned from darling mom with free access to unlimited hugs and kisses to an irritating prison warden whose every other statement started with, “No you will not.”
My baby had grown up. I had not realized. Where did the decade go?
I dragged myself from the funk. Darling Daughter was prattling on about the workshop. “We have to think about it. Only few years to go.”
Oh my!! In a few years’ time she will leave in search of her dreams leaving me mopping in my empty nest.
Nothing was more earth shattering than that realization. The sudden flow of pain overshadowed my grief while leaving my parents’ house.
A painful month followed. The more I clinged , the more she got irritated and moved apart. There were harsh words and heated exchange of sentiments.
“Mom, you are suffocating me.”
“But I love you baby”
“I don’t want this Mom…..”
“But child, you have been doing this for ever….”
“Mom I am not a kid, I don’t need a bedtime tale before being tucked into bed.”