I'm winning, but if Sue gets her internet access back before the 11th, I'm in trouble. She'll order her hordes of faithful readers over there to vote for her, and my lead will melt away faster than a snowball in heck. Because Sue, you know, does have that sort of evil power over her blog-reading minions. So don't stop voting! 3 more days!
Anna's been sick. Double outer-ear infection. Doctor gave her drops last night, but then she took a turn for the worse. Woke me up at 5:30 AM. Called me sobbing at the pool this afternoon, in utter pain, feverish, etc. Larry left work early to take her to urgent care. Got numbing drops, more meds, etc. And as soon as that pain (which I do realize is excruciating) stopped, whaddaya think...?
"Aren't you driving me to ensemble practice tonight?"
"Um, 2 hours ago, you were writhing in pain. You have a fever. You are, in fact, very sick. So...no. We're not."
Here, my friends, is where words fail even me. Fellow sufferers of ungrateful teen daughters, however, will be able to picture the Look she gave us. You know, the look that makes a parent wonder whether he/she merely imagined all that transpired over the past few hours, because his/her daughter apparently has no recollection of it. The "what is your problem, what's the big deal, I feel fine" look...
A look, in fact, that goads me to say, "Did you thank your father for taking you to the doctor?"
Another "what's the big deal?" look. Then, "Noooo...." in that slow, drawn-out, "why are you asking me that?" tone that most teens have polished to perfection.
I can't resist. For some reason, I need some confirmation that what we had all just experienced was real. I need to try to connect with the girl that I want to believe is still in there, the one I had a glimpse of this afternoon when she was in pain and needed us. "Because, remember? Your ears really hurt, you were crying, and Daddy came home early just to help you?"
That question earned me the coup de grace, the Look that says, "So?"
Yeah, I was asking for that one.
Okay, I give up. The medications are there on the counter, so it must have happened; but today, for me, was just a cruel tease. Anna has gone away again, to wherever it is all loving girls go when they turn 13.
You know, I was a teenage girl once. And I do remember that "I don't need you, I'm not a little girl anymore" feeling. In fact, I even recall the "I can't believe I'm related to you people, it disgusts me that I still require your assistance at times" attitude. But, as a parent, I also have fond memories of a sweet young lady that liked to talk to me, a girl who didn't look disappointed every time she walked into a room and saw me there. I remember a girl for whom each day was a present waiting to be opened, for whom each hour there was a reason to laugh.
Hey, Anna, we miss your love. We miss your sunniness. We miss everything.
We miss you.