A long time ago, 14 year to be exact, I gave birth to the most beautiful girl in the world.
Immediately, as soon as I looked at her tiny scrunched up face I know she was going to be something special. She wasn’t planned but she deserved the best life possible. A life far greater than the one I had lived.
When we were alone that night, I promised her that no matter what happened I would always be the best mum I could be for her. That she would never have to be afraid. That I would encourage her and support her in everything she wanted to do. That she would one day, take over the world because the world was hers for the taking.
Over the years she turned out to be everything I had imagined. She was confident, sassy, and a bit bad-assey. No matter where she went or what she did, people loved her. She shone like the brightest star, impossible to miss. Her charms couldn’t be resisted. She was kind and thoughtful, always putting other people first. I remember one time, the day before Christmas Eve, we saw a homeless man outside a supermarket. She had £5 left of her own money and she handed it over to him with a happy “merry Christmas” and a warm smile. I asked her why she did it and she said “mom, we have everything, and he has nothing, we have a home, a family, a Christmas tree – he doesn’t even have a sleeping bag. He needs that money more than me“. That’s my daughter for you, heart of solid gold.
She’d often gather up her toys and clothes and give them to charity shops, saying things like “the poorer children can afford to have new toys now” or she would donate things to charity events. Always kind and helpful to older people, either by being a friend or helping to open doors. She did well at school, always having good reports, lots of friends and a clear talent for sports.
Then something changed. She changed. And somewhere along the way, I think I failed her. I must have. Because now she’s nothing like the girl she once was. Now, she’s a complete douche. And I don’t know what to do about it.
She had always wanted to be grown up, she was always way ahead of her peers in terms of maturity and if anyone was ready to transition to high it was her. She was ready well before her time to be more adult. I had never intended her to be, it’s just the way she was. So when she went into year 6, the last year of primary, that’s when things changed. She became less foucused on her school work and more concerned with her friends. She was no longer kind to everyone, instead she picked people who made her look good, popular people, cool people. Anyone less she dismissed as if they didn’t exist.
She started failing at school, every month being dropped down a set for one subject or another and she gave zero fucks. She still had her mates.
During that last year she had many a falling out with friends, she told lies about people, bullied them even. I was losing control of my baby girl. Now? She was everything I didn’t want.
I had hoped that when she got to high school things would change. She had dreams of becoming a fashion merchandiser and understood the importance of working hard and getting good grades. I tried to tell her that her friends may come and go but her education will always be there. I had hoped that because she was always so much more mature than many others of the same age, that high school would be somewhere she felt like she could fit in. That she would concerntrate and still want to achieve great things.
I wasn’t wrong. But I wasn’t right either. She did fit in at high school, more than I ever thought she would. However, instead of keeping her head down and concentrating on her work, she became lost in the popularity she suddenly gained and got far too big for her size 3 Boots.
She’s was cocky and mean. She destroyed things and to a point? Almost broke my soul with her behaviour. It all came to a head near the end of year 7 where she finally got herself excluded. One year into high school and she’d already pushed every boundary as far as they could go. My daughter was officially a douche bag.
Now I’m hoping that last year is far behind her. She has managed to turn herself around incredibly but it doesn’t erase the things she did or the person she became. Every day I worry that that girl will reappear somewhere and it will start all over again. For now? I’m glad I’ve got my daughter back and I’m hopeful the douch can remain firmly in the past.