Saturday Night

life's joyI know my youngest daughter views me as somewhat pathetic.

On a Saturday night, after helping a friend move, cleaning, cooking dinner for an assortment of children, and then cleaning up again, I was simply relaxing and surfing the next. She was waiting for her friends to pick her up.

"Mom? Why don't you go out?"

I look up at her a bit confused, "With who?"

She is a wonder of a beauty at the age of fifteen. "Uhm, I don't know. What about with that guy you went out with this week?"

"He has his kid." I turn my attention away from her back to the computer.

"What about Deb?"

"She has her in-laws over to finish helping her move."

She continues on and is getting exasperated as she lists people who I no longer hang around with or who live far away now, or who are simply busy with their own lives. "You really should go out, Mom." She averts her eyes and flips her hair.

"Why is this so important?"

She just looks away and doesn't answer and I get it. She is feeling sorry for me. After all this time-she finally wants me to have a life which is something she fought against tooth and nail for the past six years.

The youngest daughter had the hardest time with the divorce and the idea of me dating. She did as much as she could to make it hard on me. She threw tantrums or called a hundred times when I was out. She did everything possible to make me feel guilty to want to enjoy adult company in any way and to want still-a life outside of my children. Though her father had been living with someone shortly after the divorce who he later married, the youngest dear felt that I should be alone until she grew up and moved away.

Until now.

What has changed in her or about me that has made her recant her former wishes?

I think it might be because she has finally realized that she is growing up and will move away and is having her own life. I think it is because she realizes that once she leaves, I will be alone and it bothers her. I think my youngest daughter, who I go round and round with, finally understands me. Good. I have been waiting for it to happen.

However, I hated the thought of her thinking I was lonely and pathetic. "I'm really tired anyway. I've been out enough this past couple of weeks. I had four dates in the past ten days."

"We could go out, Mom."I appreciated the offer but I know too the last thing this child wanted was to go out with her mom. Something tugs at my heart though, knowing she actually cares a bit. I am her mother though and I care more.

"No, that's okay. I'm too tired. You already made plans so you should keep them."

And what I really wanted to say was--I'll be okay my dear. No matter what life brings, even when you are grown and away. I will be okay so don't worry. But I don't say that because I know it would embarrass her.

Monika M. Basile