Simple rule for dating my teenage daughter

I wasn’t crying because he wasn’t there right then.I was crying because he would never be there again — he wouldn’t walk me down the aisle, he wouldn’t meet my children, he wouldn’t see me accomplish any of the things that he wanted for me.My mother occasionally tried expressing to me that I should cut her a break because she now had to be both my mother and my father.I was deaf to any suggestions of sympathy for her, but she was right.These stereotypes are based on, in part, infrequent situations that tend to be remembered.

Consciously, it was because I liked Joan Jett while my classmates liked J-Lo and I wanted to make it clear that I was “different.” But looking back, I was very clearly in mourning for my entire adolescence.I had a grilled cheese and a chocolate milkshake, which I drank as slowly as possible to extend our visit by just a few more minutes — I hadn’t seen him in almost six months, and I didn’t know when I would again.When my milkshake was gone and it was time to go, I broke down.I cried and held onto fistfuls of his shirt like I had when he first told me that he wasn’t going to be living with us anymore.Those two happy days had healed the wound of my parents’ split just enough for this departure to rip it back open.

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I smoked cigarettes not in spite of the fact that they’d shorten my life, but hoping they would.

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