I had a college boyfriend who lived at home for a few years with his parents. His Mom offered to drive me back and forth to the train, or make me dinner, or help me with one thing or another and my famous response was always “That’s okay, or I got it, or no thank you.” One time she looked me dead in my face and said “I told ____ that you would say no. You always say no! I told him, that Stephanie Statham is fiercely independent.”
It was then, and still remains, my most cherished compliment.
It should come as no surprise then that my Sunshine girl can be described in the exact same way. The other day while riding the train she let go of my hand, insisting that she sit. And it wasn’t enough to just sit, she had to sit at least 20 feet away from me. She looked around, out the windows, studied the other riders, and smiled to herself. She looked back at me with a face that is more Matt’s then mine, but it’s her spirit- identical to mine that I always see. She was proud that she was sitting on her own. She enjoys the feeling of independence.
I get it. It’s addictive. It’s how you know that you’re a woman. I get it.
The thing is when you have a child you do your best to hold them close and protect them from growing up too fast. You hold them first to your chest, then in your arms, then on your lap, and eventually by the hand. When she let go of my hand, I felt my foundation crack just a little. It was a dull pierce to the heart, as if someone had taken a hammer and nail and pounded it directly into my chest. I never realized the security of holding her hand and sometimes I don’t know if I’m holding on for her sake or mine; the line is blurred. I trust that she can do it, because she is of me and from me and I would do it to.
Oh Miss Independent, how you rule the universe of my heart.