Basking in the Moonshine

Moonshine graduated from high school last week.  Two down, one to go.

When people talked about what a huge accomplishment it was, she said, Did I have another choice?  And she didn’t, but for the around 47% of her class who dropped out, maybe they felt like that was their only choice.

I distinctly remember Sunshine and I talking about how long she had to go to school.  It was probably 1st grade and we were in the car and she said, Exactly how long do I have to do this?  And I said, Do what? And she said, Go to school.  I told her she had to finish high school, which goes to grade 12 and then go to college for four years unless she wanted to specialize in something like being a doctor or lawyer and then she had to go longer.

My dad always told Sunshine she should be a lawyer because she liked to argue her point and always spoke her mind.  She would cry and say, But I don’t want to be a liar, grandpa.

I talked in another post about how Moonshine thought I was a lame duck parent, like my job parenting her is done.  And mostly it is, I suppose, but sometimes I see that little girl who still needs me and my heart swells.  She told me a couple of weeks ago, I like how you parented me.  I said, So…does that mean I’m done?  And she said, no, she said she might need me for some things still.

I’ve always said Moonshine and I have had a hard time in the past because she had a tendency to lie and I had a tendency to freak out about it.  But I remember the turning point when I found something out and I didn’t freak out.  I told her her how hurt I was that she had been lying and I told her that ultimately she was in charge of the relationship we’re going to have.  I told her I would always be there, but I wasn’t going to be as involved with someone who’s going to lie to me all the time, I just couldn’t do it.  I told her she was in charge, and if that’s the kind of relationship she wanted to have with me, then I would still be there, but I wouldn’t accept her lying to me. I literally would rather you never spoke to me again than lie to me, and that goes for everyone.

Moonshine said she remembered that speech and was actually listening.  She said that was the turning point for her because she realized that she didn’t want that kind of relationship with me, she wanted the closeness we have now, but we both had to build up the trust that she was going to tell me the truth and I wasn’t going to freak out.  It’s hard.  Sometimes she told me things that I wish I never knew, mostly about other people, but I  hung in there and kept my word and as far as I know, she still tells me everything.

Tenderheart was listening as Moonshine told me she liked how I parented her and Tenderheart said, Oh yeah, if you would have freaked out on her, I wouldn’t have told you anything either.  Well, great, I thought, chalk a couple of wins up to me because I don’t get a lot of those.  And as I watched my girl walk across the stage and saw the strong, amazing woman she’s become, I let a couple of tears go because I made that.

In fact, I made all three of these strong, amazing, lovely women and I couldn’t be more proud:

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