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The Girl in the Bubble

For the last three years, I have watched my first born daughter blossom from a child into a young lady. At thirteen she's strikingly beautiful and not in that I'm her mother so I have to say that way, but in that strangers stop me on the street way. And as I've watched her bloom, along with feeling proud I've also been fighting this irresistible urge to lock her in her room, block all technology and home-school her until she's oh, about 25.

It's not because she is some problem child. She's on the honor roll in her gifted classes. She helps out at home. She is loving, affectionate and probably a little too innocent for her age. I bet you're saying if she's such a good kid, why then would I want to lock her up? It's precisely because she's such a good kid! I live in constant fear of someone or something corrupting her.

Last week as is our daily tradition, she curled up in my bed after school to chat about her day as I work. After discussing her classes and an upcoming band concert she mentioned not wanting to go for a smoothie after school because of some trouble makers that hang around the local McDonald's. So of course, I go into straight lioness mode, who are these kids? What did they say to you? Are they in your classes? My daughter attempts to calm me down by reassuring me that the "bad" kids never pay much attention to her, they aren't in her classes and besides "that pregnant eighth grader that fights all the time finally got expelled"

This is where I began to have esophageal seizures, because I haven't the slightest idea what to say. It's not only that there are pregnant eighth graders at her small middle school, but that she mentioned it so casually. As if were no big deal, and that's what scared the shit out of me. So naturally I began freaking out, I told my husband Summer was being home-schooled from now on to which he just replied, "don't get crazy Shev". I complained to my mom and she asked me "If I would like to lock Summer in a bubble for her whole life, so she never sees anything?" I replied that's exactly what I wanted and "Do you know where I could get one cheap?" She hung up on me.. But what my father said really scared me. In his easygoing way, he tried to reassure me by saying "You've done your job, Summer's a good girl, she'll be alright." Why was that terrifying? Because how do you KNOW if you've really done your job? There's no test at the end of each year or stage to let you know you've passed that particular parenting hurdle. Drugs, sex, education, social responsibility, you can try to instill all these lessons into your children but how do you know when they have learned them? Unfortunately, you certainly will know when they didn't learn them. Parenting can be a terrifying gamble and the odds aren't always in your favor. I suppose if I can't get this bubble thing to work out, I'm going to have to learn to trust my daughter and more importantly myself as a mom. but just in case, I'm gonna go Google that bubble...

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