I droppped my 12-year-old daughter to the mall for the first time yesterday to hang out with her friends.
And so it begins.
It felt a bit strange heading home without her – the three of us normally spend our Saturdays together.
A few hours later, her sister and I headed to Westfield for lunch.
I called the eldest to ask if she’d like to join us for yum cha or whether she’d like another hour with her friends … she hesitated, not wanting to offend me … before choosing another hour with her friends.
I wasn’t hurt. It’s pretty awesome that she’s getting out and about. She’s an introverted kid who spends most of her free time on the couch playing Minecraft.
While my daughter chose curry puffs with her mates over prawn dumplings with her mum, she’s also at that inbetweeny age where she happily joined us afterwards to watch Finding Dory, which warmed my heart.
I can’t begin to imagine the changes that will be wrought in our lives over the next few years. A big one will come in September when her dad moves half and hour away (by car, let’s not think about how far it will be on public transport) rather than five minutes.
He’ll also be living with another woman, so there won’t be the same opportunities to visit outside my usual custody hours.
We’re also still in that sweet spot where the kids are happy to spend all their spare hours with mum or dad. But that must draw to a close soon.
Our daughters will be off leading teen lives that their parents will know as little about as they can possibly avoid telling them.
I will miss them very much. But I’ll also be thrilled to watch them grow into happy, well-adjusted young adults.
Do you have teen daughters? How have you found the shift into independence?
Song of the day: David Bowie “Changes”