As he got out of the car, I turned and patted her on the leg to wake her, to let her know we’d arrived. She groggily looked up, and, as I turned back to the steering wheel, I caught it. The look that said, “I think you’re the most wonderful thing in the world.”
And my heart skipped a beat. I’ve seen that look before, but not when it’s directed at my daughter.
As DD1 declared publicly via Facebook a few weeks ago, she’s “in a relationship.” And the good news is she’s dating a boy her own age who we’ve known for years. He’s smart and funny, and we like his parents. And–even better–neither of them can drive until next year, which explains why I was chauffeuring in the first place. Things could be much, much worse!
But, I’m surprised at my mixed emotions surrounding this event. It’s not that I dislike her choice or even the fact that she’s dating. But there’s something so disconcerting about realizing that it literally seems like only yesterday that I had my first date, an event followed closely by the first time I truly fell for a guy.
But thanks to Facebook, which not only keeps me apprised of my daughter’s romantic entanglements but also my own long-lost friends, I’m reminded that particular guy, who recently sent me a friend request, is now somehow a middle-aged, slightly overweight, married father of two. Just for the record, I, of course, look exactly the way I did when I was 15 and madly in love with him. We can all dream!
And speaking of dreams, my guess is that most parents dream of their children, happily grown up with families of their own. I’m just not crazy about DD1 taking those first baby steps toward finding that future.
But, just as I did when she took her first, hesitant true baby steps across the room and into my open arms, I plan to cheer her on and be ready to catch her if she falls.