The signs are all there. As much as we hate to admit it, our kids are growing up. Now, instead of rolling Play Doh, they’re rolling their eyes. Instead of dressing Barbie, they’re dressing like Barbie. (“Katie, that skirt is way too short. It’s a school call waiting to happen.”) Instead of playing Operation, they’re asking for one (“Hey Mom, my nose is so big. Can I get it fixed?”).
While most mothers of special needs kids would be thrilled to see maturity in their kids, Gina is struggling with it. For her, it’s a painful reminder that her two daughters, ages 15 and 11, are growing apart from her and that she can no longer do the things she used to love to do with them.
Things like watching a favorite TV show (“OK, who wants to watch Arthur with Mom?”) or giving them special attention to comfort them.
“Katie, what’s that on your face? Come here and let Mommy kiss it.”
“Mom, it’s a zit. Get away from me. You’re a freak.”
One of the hardest things for Gina to accept is that she can no longer fabricate “white lies” to protect them.
“Emmy, great news! I just got the notice. Your school wants you to attend summer camp.”
“Camp? That’s not a camp. It’s summer school! Duh! I’m not stupid.”
Her older sister is even more savvy about uncovering Gina’s lies, which is particularly troubling since she often outs Gina.
“Mommy, remember our cat Felix? What happened to him?”
“Oh Emmy, he was just so active. We sent him to a farm where he could get the exercise he needs.”
“Emmy, don’t believe her. There’s no such thing as ‘the farm.’ Felix bit the big one.”
What’s even more disturbing is that they’ve started to develop probing skills and now ask me questions about my life. But I guess I probably should show my maturity and tell them the truth.
“Hey Mom, have you ever been drunk?”
“Yes. Drunk on love for the two of you.”