Sunday, December 28, 2014

Second Chances

"You know what's rarer? Second chances. I never get a second chance, so what happened this time? I don't even know who to thank."
~The Doctor, Last Christmas

Dearest Daughter,

I've been sitting and thinking of a second chance of my own today. And unlike the Doctor, I know who to thank. You.

When your mother and I broke up, there was a great deal of anger and pain - as there so often is in these things. I doubt that, had there not been a you, we would have had anything further to do with one another once the divorce was final. Certainly nobody else I've ever broken up with has stayed in my life. More often than not, after hurts of that magnitude, people just want to get far away and forget.

But there was a you. And because there was a you and because of the love your mother and I both have for you, we each gave the other a second chance.  We worked very hard, day by day and bit by bit to rebuild a friendship.

Everyone knows that when something shatters,  no matter how painstakingly it is repaired,  it can never ever be as good as it was originally.

But every once in a very great while,  when the wind is fair and the stars align.... it can be rebuilt into something better.

So I owe you a debt of thanks. Your mother has become my dearest friend. I do not know how I could have survived without her patient support and encouragement. I know she will always have my back and she knows I will always have hers.

And that is a very good thing to know.

Second chances.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Come at Last

"So, it's come at last. At last it's come, the day I knew would come at last has come at last."
~Mae Peterson, Bye Bye Birdie

Dearest Daughter,
Well, the Terrible Tweens have begun. God help us.
I've been pretty spoiled. After the terrible, terrible fights we used to have at bedtime passed into history, things have been pretty peaceful. On the rare occasion you would suddenly go ballistic over nothing (read "my ham-fisted behavior unknowingly hurt your feelings"), once you were too old to be spanked I learned to shut my mouth and stop feeding the flames. I'd remove myself to my room and close the door and we would communicate by notes passed under the door till we both calmed down, made a joke, hugged, and life went on.
It's been peaceful and pleasant and we've been so close. Not as close as you and your Mom, but close for us. And I've loved every second of it. After the turbulent time right after your Mom left and you seemed to want to take it all out exclusively on me, it felt like I had reached safe harbor at last. But the terrain has changed now and suddenly I'm having trouble finding my footing again. 
For one thing, we don't play any more. That has been the biggest shocker - we went from playing games every waking minute to not playing at all - virtually overnight. You prefer to sit in your room and listen to music. Since I went through the same thing, I understand. But I miss the time I used to get to spend with you.  I knew I had a finite amount of time to enjoy it, I just didn't know the end would come so soon.
Harder to take is the fact that you went from calling to tell me good night every time you were with your Mom, to never calling me at all. And since you ask to call you Mom and call Larry every morning like clockwork, that one really, really hurts. Your Mother assures me when I go wailing to her that I've done nothing wrong and that tween girls just do these things. But I remain unconvinced.
I am learning to deal with the verbal smarting off though. The first time I told you to do something and you yelled "MAKE ME!!" and stormed off, I did not react well.  But I'm starting to understand that the flashes of temper often take you by surprise as much as they do me. And if I just let you express and don't escalate matters into a power struggle, within a few minutes you shake it off, comply, and life goes on.
So it goes, one halting, uncertain, confused step at a time.  I cannot doubt that I'll get it wrong more often than I'll get it right. 
But we'll get through it. And no matter how rocky it may get - never ever ever forget that I love you more than anything else in the world.