I think my daughter is trying to kill me. It’s not a murderous rage or even a sly plot take my life, it’s a slow continuous break down of me, my person. It’s only fair that she’s trying to kill me as I tried to kill my mother when I was fifteen. She’s not killing me slowly with premarital sex and teen parties, like I did with Mary Ann. She’s killing me with forever rides to everywhere and being busier than I ever was. She participates in every activity known to her high school and has the audacity to never half-ass anything. She is always on the move and requires me to tag along, considering I am her ride I guess she needs me. I was not convinced she was trying to eliminate me until one day I asked her to give me a break. I asked for a day, just a day to not go anywhere, a day where I didn’t have to approve who and about who and what she was going to see or do. More impotently, I didn’t have to drive her there. She agreed to my “day” but when that day came, she couldn’t do it. She asked me to take her one place, in town. My time was slowly whittled down to two hours, two whole hours without her being near me.
I thought I was alone in my suspicions of being assassinated until I looked around at the other moms at a volleyball game. I start to really see the other moms that have daughters my age. Most of these moms have sons that are my son’s age or older. But they look different now, aged, tired. I start to believe that their daughters areI trying to kill them as well. I decide it’s not a question of being a parent, we all have older boys. Apparently, its only our girls that want to eliminate us. While at the game I lean down and ask another mother how she is doing. She looks up at me, square in my eyes and says, “I’m fucking tired!” I pause and absorb her words. She is as tired as I am. I want to know more, so I delicately probe into her mother daughter dynamic.
“Is your daughter trying to kill you?” I ask as casually as possible, trying not to arouse suspicion.
“It sure does feel like it!”
With one affirmation, I am convinced, my daughter and all of her friends are trying to eliminate their mother’s presence on earth. After the game, Bronny asks me to take her somewhere to meet someone. It is 9pm, she is asking to go to FroYo or the Moon both places seem equally difficult to manage this evening. As I scream to her, a hearty NO, I wonder what happened to my life. I used to get the party started at 9pm. Now 9 O’clock in the fake bedtime I tell people to seem cool. As Bronny and I walk through our front door, relief surrounds me because my body understands that my bed is within reach. We both plop on my bed and she snuggles next to me.
She begins to stroke my hair, like she did as a child, when she was a non-murderous child. She would crawl into my bed, while Doot (Duke) and Daddy were downstairs, brush in hand, ready to style my hair for the night. Tonight, the brush she used to carry is now replaced by my fear that she wants something else from me. “Bronny?” “Yes?” How can a simply yes sound so sweet and treacherous at the same time. “How was your night?” “Good” she says plainly. “I like petting your hair, now that it has so many grays” “Thank you?” I say
As I close my eyes and let her stroke my gray hairs, I contemplate several things, I try and remember when I was on the verge of becoming a sixteen-year-old girl and I wanted to murder my mother. The difference is I really did want to MURDER my mother. Her misdeeds deserved my rage. But my high crimes as a mother are far less offensive. Although tough,
I learned to forgive Mary Ann and I learned from her mistakes. I learned to coexist with my mother even when I wanted to run screaming from the room.
Now my mother and I are very close, and the murderous temptation I once felt has been replaced by genuine love, respect and the sometime feeling of wanting to wrap my fingers around her tiny neck and squeeze until the breath of life is nearly extinguished. See? All gone.
I can’t decide if I am having a dream or if I have reached a level of Nirvana from the head pets, but I’ve decided to embrace her sixteen-year-old self. Maybe it’s her job to feel superior to me, to think that she knows it all, maybe she needs to feel empowered enough as a girl about to become a woman in this current environment. Perhaps she will be so determined to accomplish her goals because she felt safe asserting herself at home first or maybe she really is a homicidal maniac that is just biding her time until her brain signals “Attack!”
If I do become a victim of matricide, please tell Overstreet that in my will, I leave her a “man with sensitivity.”