Today marks one week since my daughter has returned. The transition has been difficult for each one of us. It is strange bringing someone back into your life that has been so much of an outsider for such a long period of time. Although she calls me mother and she is my daughter, we are more like strangers than we would care to admit.
Sarah is quiet, uninviting, and incapable of interacting in just basic casual conversation.
As I think of her struggle to absorb all that has changed, learn each family members quirks and differences and find her way to become part of this tribe, I find myself comparing it to that of a newborn child.
As infants we do not speak. We rely soley on our parents to feed us, bathe us and provide us with all of our basic human needs. They do all of this as we sit back and do nothing but absorb. We take in all that life has to offer, we learn the voices, likes and dislikes of those around us. We learn what foods we love and those that we hate and do all of this without uttering a single solitary audible word. We make noise, cry, groan and complain, but we are not expected to offer up meaningful conversation. Quite the opposite is true for when our first single, one syllable word is spoken, the crowds applaud, the sky opens up and God himself seems to come down to sing our praise.
My daughter is much like an infant but in a 16 year old body. She does not have the benefit of being adorable just for rolling over, belting out a Dada or eating her first bite of “real” food. The world she faces is much less forgiving, a lot more demanding and waiting to see what she has to offer.
I will do my best to remind myself of this as she stands by watching me pay bills, stands over me mopping the floors and stares me down at dinner. She is a baby in an overgrown body and I her teacher dressed up as a mom.