The Question. The Answer. « Shoot Me Now

Shoot Me NowThe Question. The Answer.

The Question. The Answer.
Published on Friday, May 20, 2011 by

Every few weeks I am reminded of my age, despite the fact that I plug my ears and sing, “La la la la!” whenever I find a new grey hair.  But it isn’t my own age that bothers me.  It is the fact that my increasing age means the increasing age of my children as well.  This weekend I was reminded of this fact during a conversation with my youngest.  It was a conversation I had somehow avoided with the boys.  But with my daughter, it was inevitable.

It seems the deepest conversations I have occur on the beach.  While my ten-year-old and I were walking, she asked, “Mom, is there really a Santa Claus?”  My heart stopped beating for a moment.  My mind raced.  No, this is not happening.  I will not be having this conversation.  She is my baby and I can’t let her childhood go this quickly.  If I let this conversation continue, something sacred will be forever lost.

In a weak moment I stumbled.  I tried to change the subject.  I hemmed and hawed.  But then she stopped, looked me in the eye and said, “Mom.  I am ten years old.  I need to know.”  I replied, “Honey, don’t ask a question you don’t want an honest answer for.  Are you sure you want to know?”


That one tiny word carried her out of childhood and in to a world that takes her yet another step away from me.  A step she needed to take.  Was ready to take.  It was a step that reminded me of the constant and bittersweet passage of time.

After hearing my reply, she thought a bit.  And as she did, her shoulders became a little straighter.  Her step became a little stronger.  And she herself aged before my eyes.

You raise them to be self sufficient, confident and strong.  You raise them to be kind, giving and full of love.  You raise them to be independent.  And finally, you raise them to leave you.

Motherhood, my friends, is no easy task.

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  • I have a lump in my throat now. Beautifully written Katherine.

    • I am such a sap that I cried when I wrote it! What am I going to DO with my life once my kids are grown?! Hope I don’t become a crazy animal rescue lady or something… I guess I should take up knitting!

  • Yep this is exactly what we are supposed to do.  Many hang on until the end and they certainly aren’t helping their kids become independent.  Excellent post.  Made me smile as I’ve already gone though this many, many years ago.  I’ll be 60 this September.

    Have a terrific day.   🙂

  •  This was beautiful. I’ve been feeling my kids pull away from me more and more lately. They’re growing up and away and I don’t like it one bit. This post really hit home. 

  • Awww. I felt like crying upon reading this because I went through the same thing with my son.  You know you have to begin to let them slip away into the mists of adulthood but it’s so hard. When I was telling my son about Santa a voice kept repeating in my head :’Tell him Santa’s real. Tell him Santa’s real.’ But in the end I had to be truthful.

    Beautifully written and very poignant.

  • That was lovely, Katherine. Your daughter sounds incredible. She didn’t want to hear any BS. My son is 21 now. When he’s away in school, he’s a man. When he returns home on vacation, he becomes a boy again.

  • As a SINK, (single income, no kids) I know I cannot speak from experience Katherine, but I must tell you I nonetheless your post very moving indeed. Guess I remember how I loved my own childhood, and how difficult it was to leave it last year. 

  •  I am not ready for that.  It’s funny, I talk openly with my preteen about sex, bullying, drugs, all that kind of stuff but I am a big chicken when it comes to the man in the red suit.  I don’t think I want to know if she believes or not.

  •  Is that your daughter’s baby picture?   What a beauty.   Single, no kids, here, but your lovely writing gave me a good peek into your world.  Nice job, my friend.

    And yes, you are destined to be come a crazy animal rescue lady.  😉

  • Beautiful moment!
    And she’s a beauty in her little baby picture! 🙂

    Don’t worry about a thing. I can tell your relationship will only deepen as she grows older. You’re off to a great start!

  • Anonymous

    Oh, great! Here I was looking for a laugh, and now I’m blubbering like a baby because my last one’s only got a year or two left before he leaves home. Thanks a whole bunch.

    • Oh you are OH SO WELCOME HA HA! Yup, I wrote that with tears going down my face, no lie. So you and I are in the same spot.. my oldest a senior next year… snifff! BUT… he is the one kid of my three that I think will stick around, perhaps longer than he SHOULD… so maybe it won’t be so bad. 🙂

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