Coast to coast, their hormones are raging! Having left California, I knew I was in for more, but little did I know just how much…
Lexi has always been precocious. As a little child, barely even speaking, she would come into the living room, place her little hand on her cocked her hip, and shimmy her head saying, “Attitude.” We knew we were in for it!
I suppose I didn’t help. When she was preverbal, she would come into the room and I would say, “Yes, the world was created for you!” I was so enamored with her.
I was exactly one week shy of turning 16 when she was born. I helped my sister-in-law through the labor. Her mother, Mary (RIP), my mother, Marie, and I, all had our parts- cheerleader, support, film-taker. Mary was in charge of the latter. Why they gave her this duty, I am still not sure. At the wedding she set the camera down on a chair and recorded 30 minutes of guests’ asses. Would the birth be any different? Nah! Just as Lexi was crowning the tape ends, giving us crotch, crotch, crotch, but no climax (pardon the pun).
Despite, Lexi’s ascendance was perfect. She came out healthy and adorable. I was so proud of her and I would take her out and about, showing her off as if she were my own. We bear a striking resemblance, which made it easier to feel she was mine. Now, at 30 and she at 14, I realize that she is mine. Not in the sense of being my child, but she is mine to protect, mine to help morally guide, mine to support no matter how unbelievably selfish and stubborn she is.
Fifteen minutes before midnight 2009, I drew a very distinct line for her. “If you go out of that door to see him, and defy your parents’ rule, you are stepping well beyond the trust boundaries. That is also where your and my similarities end! At 14, I would never have defied my parents in such a manner, and you best understand that I am not (expletive)ing around! I will call them and tell them that you have left against their rule and my forbeyance, young lady.”
Prior to this last stand we had been negotiating off and on for almost 3 hours. “Please Aunt Catie! Can I go?” “Lexi, I have been very cool with you, and the other night you agreed that you would not ask me this. Now you are asking. You have broken rules already and I do not see this boy who supposedly likes you breaking any to see you. I will not lie to your parents if they call, I will not pretend, I will not understand if you walk out that door!”
“But he is going to ask me out tonight, I know it!”
“He can ask you tomorrow. And if he stops liking you because of this, then you have no future anyway!”
“That’s why I want to go, so we can build a future.”
“You know what I mean!”
“Lexi, I am afraid I don’t. I am afraid that you are telling me that you want to break rules, suffer the consequence that will be not only a huge loss of trust and respect but also include loss of your phone and computer which you use to communicate with him, in order to secure a ‘future’ that will end when you can’t call, text, or otherwise speak to him!? Child, you have left logic upstairs and come down here a fool!”
“Just please, if my parents call…”
“No. You don’t get it. I am not going to lie to them. Get this and get it good, I will call them if you leave this house.”
“Fine, call. I am leaving!” she says as she walks up to her room and slams the door.
I promptly apologized to my mother and thanked her for having hung in there 15 years back when I was selfish and horrid. We laughed, I had my head in my hands, and then Lexi returned for the 5-minutes-before-midnight spat.
I repeated my argument, reassured her that my logic was solid and that hers didn’t exist and said again that I would call if she as much as stepped a foot out the door. Line drawn, time to get the phone and the number in case. Whispering to her friend behind me. Door opened, but not the screen. Phone on counter. Champagne glasses taken out for me and my Mom. Washing them, ball dropping, not a peep at the door. 3-2-1! Happy New Year! Feet drum rolling up the stairs, SLAM!
“Thank you Lord she didn’t go!”
Mom and I toasted Happy New Year and I toasted my newfound sense that I will be able to raise a person!