Yesterday was A Day at our house. Back to school for Gracie-girl. Back to work for me. Bee-girl and Auntie Kim…went to back-to-back movies because not so much back to reality for them. (Sometimes being in different school districts means different winter breaks, which worked out because one-on-one time with Auntie Kim.)
Because it was going to be A Day, I thought last night would end with both Gracie and I carrying around heads filled with brains that rather resembled bowls of mashed potatoes.
That was true for one of us.
I had something like 10,000* emails, and I got through a leetle more than half of them. I handled a gabillion “Great! You’re back! I really need x, y, z!” requests, and covered my turn in the rotation for another certain project. I couldn’t remember my name by the end of the day; I was too tired to even be grumpy. Exhausted, yes. Grumpy? I hope not.
Gracie, on the other hand, she who would not – could not – get out of bed before 10 a.m. the entirety of break, she was almost chipper about returning to school. Because the new reality she’s getting back to has a boyfriend. Oh yes, you read that right – a. boy. friend.
I’m not really sure how I feel about this.
I knew my babies would grow up one day. I hoped that grown-up thems would have loves who would adore and worship them right back. You want to be loved in this world. It’s one of the brightest, happiest, important-est things. But having an abstract hope for your children is so much different than the present, in-the-moment worrying that gnaws at you constantly when you’re living those moments in the right here and now.
My 7th grader has a boyfriend. One with a real name instead of a code name; one she’s gone out with on a group date (chaperoned by parents) to Six Flags; one she actually talks to and gushes over (so much as Gracie gushes). I’m excited for her! And happy for her and her self-confidence! And thinking how much better this could be for her versus how it went for Seventh-Grade Katie. (Yeah, a comparison that promises nothing but good and healthy things. I know. I KNOW.)
It’s just…I feel so old right now. I’m old enough to have a daughter who’s dating. Okay, yes, it’s true that Gracie responded with “Ew! No!” when I asked if she had kissed him, and an equally indignant “No!” when I asked if they had held hands. So “dating” is still an age-appropriate idea, if not expression.
It’s adorable. It’s cute. It’s not all about me. My daughter has a boyfriend. I’m just…still unpacking my feelings and reactions to this new reality. Something that might be easier when my brains aren’t mashed potatoes.
*Sadly, only a slight exaggeration.