Today, my newly minted fifteen year old and I were driving somewhere and in one quick movement she turned off the radio and popped in her iPod earbuds. There was barely a moment for me to say a word between public and private music, neither of which is conducive to talking. I find myself more and more aware of how little my daughters need to talk to me anymore. I mean, it’s not like we don’t talk. It’s just that they don’t NEED to talk to me anymore.
And simultaneous with that discovery, I realize how much I WANT to talk to them. It seems the more I want to ask them the more they pull in. No matter how delicately I tread, the goofier they seem to think I am. Or at least that is my perception.
So there she was, popping in the second earbud and I wanted to talk to her about anything. So I asked her about what seems to be at the top of my mind these days. Her birth parents. We got to meet McKenna’s birth parents in Vietnam and I have been wondering how she is feeling about not getting to have the same experience.
And when her birthday comes around, especially, I think about birth parents “somewhere out there” thinking about her and wondering if she is ok.
I asked her if we could talk. “Huh?” she said, popping out one side of her earbuds. I said it again. And she said sure. So I asked if she thought about her birth parents. Or if she felt bad about not getting to meet them. And she asked me if I wanted the brutal truth and I said yes and she told me that she didn’t really care.
I was really surprised by that answer. So I dug a little for some clarification. She had felt a little jealous-ish this summer with someone who had gotten to meet the person who found her. Sheridan seemed to have a difficult time remembering feeling that way and when I asked her how she felt about McKenna getting to meet her birth family she said she was happy for her.
Either she wasn’t giving me anything or she really doesn’t care. Either way, my only recourse was to let her know that regardless of how she feels now or in the future I would not pressure her to do anything one way or another but would always support whatever her feelings were. I also told her that if she ever did want to find her birth parents that I would do whatever it took to find them.
My little nine month old sweetheart is fifteen years old this week and the time went by far more quickly than I could have imagined. My main regret is not doing everything that comes to my children with much more intentionality. But despite feeling like I have stumbled through my role as a parent, Sheridan has turned out to be a wonderful, young woman.
I wish there was a way to tell an anonymous Chinese mom and dad how fabulous she is.