You know you are old when you are no longer having the hypothetical how-babies-are-made conversation with your daughter but rather the holy-shit she-is-going-to-have-sex-someday discussion.  I am fairly certain, like my parents before me who walked over 5 miles to school each way every day in rain, snow or sleet, that sex never occurred to me until I was at least 25.

Okay that is bullshit but honestly can’t the passage of time give us mothers a break?  It was only yesterday I was changing her diapers and singing “the wheels on the bus go round and round” during mommy and baby swim time!

I was a pretty sullen, depressed kid and as a young adult simply bided my time for something greater than what was right in front of me.  As a result, I was independent and self-reliant in ways my daughters couldn’t imagine.  Finally growing up, finding my career which I would daresay is more of a calling, getting married (even though it only lasted 16 years), and becoming a parent have fulfilled me in unimaginable and delightful ways.

But this – seeing your own children grow into adults before your very eyes — is consistently shocking to use an oxymoron.

So while not having to cross this bridge just yet, the reality of the next stages in my daughter’s life set in firmly on a canoe in Bethel, Maine, this weekend where she bolstered the courage to talk to me about her life in all sorts of ways.   She is a smart, kind, caring girl struggling with life and she had enough trust in me to talk to me.

As most mothers do, I question my decisions and my actions with my girls every day, but that day in Bethel, Maine, made me feel I’d done something right because my teen age daughter shared some of her immensely private life with me.

 Written with my daughter’s permission.

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