I have been struggling with my teenage daughter. Whenever I get excessively angry, I have to remind myself that she is figuring out how to be independent and be her own person, and part of that is avoiding her family and her home and her life here. I remind myself to just let go and let her be, and then I get pulled in because she is not truly independent or prepared enough to be on her own. I am reminded that every generation bemoans the next. We remember being so capable as young people. Were we really so responsible? What if I have not prepared her well enough for the world? She is off to Italy and France for the summer and has found herself a job in San Remo and Nice. What a resourceful person she is! She has decided not to go to NYU next year and volunteer in Ecuador while we are there. On the surface that sounds like a wonderful idea, but I have all sorts of worries about her and her choices and her safety. But then I remind myself that I have no control over her life. I have given her the freedom to decide where she goes to school and what she studies and what she does with her year off. I find it very confusing when she yells at me and tells me that I control her life and ruin it all for her!
I don't think she believes me when I tell her I want her to live her own life and figure it out for herself. I remember doing exactly that as a young adult, and loving the freedom and the possibilities and the adventure. Turning eighteen was so exciting! Anything could happen and I could make it happen! I don't think Tara has got to that point yet. She avoids coming home and then when she does come home she feels confined and limited and angry at me. And I get angry because she does not participate or involve herself in our lives. Why would she?
So time to let go, let her be, let her live her life. And I feel relieved. I like having no control, I feel better when I pull back and am less reactive and less involved. I am not sure she believes me when I tell her I just want her to be happy, whatever that is and however that happens. I just don't want it to take too long or be too painful to get there. But I have no control over that either.
Clearly it has been a painful few days. We were with our good friends Daphne and Julien tonight, and Daphne pointed out that perhaps it is difficult for Tara to see us packing up the house and moving everything out. Watching your childhood home disappear must be unsettling, even though she has been away most of the past two years! Perhaps she is resistant to helping out because it is painful for her to move on with her life. I can understand that!
Yet at this moment I am eager to go! We will review the lease contract tomorrow and perhaps meet the potential renters and then attack the remainder of the house and be out of here in a few weeks. This is finally happening!