My Daughter Is A Young Adult, And This Is What I Want To Say To My Own Mom

by Lauri Walker
Kosamtu / Getty

Dear Mama,

I know I’ve told you this before. It seems these letters have come to you in stages:

The toddler stage when they cut their hair over and over no matter how many different places I hid the scissors or how many times I threatened to shave their head the next time they did it.

The tween stage when they wanted to wear shorts every damn day regardless of subzero temps and apocalyptic snow storms that threatened to kill all of mankind.

When they spit pee soup like Linda Blair during the awful, crappy, eye-rolling teenage girl stage.

And now the “OMG, I have an adult child!” stage.

I’m sorry.

Right now. Right in this moment.

I. Am. Sorry.

I’m sorry for every shitty, snotty, “I know every fucking thing there is about adulting because I’ve been doing it for five whole minutes all by myself even though I’m still driving the car you gave me,” thing I ever said to you and Dad.

I know I taught my kids the age-old lesson of “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” I even used the super annoying sing song-y voice that moms are supposed to use.

What the hell is happening?

I cried when I left my kid at college. I really did. I cried while she turned and never looked back and I was okay with that because that is the natural course of life, and I really love her.

And now she’s too busy to take a phone call.

I get that she is testing her wings and all of that, but really.

What the hell?!

This kid racks up more mileage on that cell phone than her Dad and I combined, but she didn’t see that I called her yesterday? She has no idea that I texted her? I’m not invading her space. I’m trying to give her money to pay a bill, for the love of all that is holy and good. MONEY! But she tries to tell me that she has no idea I called her even though she was posting on Facebook WHILE I WAS CALLING HER?! From the phone I was calling!

Deep Breath.

I am sorry.

I don’t know why you let me live. I’m grateful that you did. I can already hear you saying “This too shall pass.”

Um. When exactly?

Mama, when does this pass? And will I ever want to live with her again? Because right now it isn’t looking good for her. I really, really love her. I do. She is amazing. I’m having that printed on a tee shirt. Backwards so I can wear it every day and see it in the mirror to remind myself.

I hope her roommate really loves her, too, because I’m going to suggest they get a house for the summer.

I can already hear the Sanctimommies blasting me for calling out her behavior so publicly. Hey, Sanctimommies, you can get off your high horse because I’m watching her through older, wiser eyes and I’m looking in a mirror while I do it. It ain’t pretty.

I’m so sorry, Mama. I remember wanting to fly away. I remember thinking I knew it all. I remember driving away in that car you bought for me.

Is every college kid like this? Or does she just take after me?

I knew to expect her distance when she left. I thought I was ready for it. I’m clearly not ready to parent an adult child. But, she isn’t really ready to be an adult, yet, either. Her father and I aren’t quite done parenting her, but she thinks we should be. We are all in some weird state of limbo where we just don’t know what the hell we are doing. We are going to so completely screw up more than we get right for a while. Parents and Woman Child.

I know we all have the same goal: get through this unscathed. We love each other. Some more than others some days.

Today, though, I might just go ahead and “miss” a few text messages from up north and send a few extra ones to you, Mama.


Your Daughter

P.S. I really did appreciate that car. And the other one.