My daughter? She thinks she’s Winona Ryder.
Sure, she’s prettier, there’s no doubt about that — no bias here, being the mammy of such stunning joy that my female progeny bequeaths upon all who gaze; but that beauty tends to wander off when she opens her mouth.
I spent my holiday weekend at a sea-glass festival in Delaware, something I’d planned for months and something I looked forward to for months. It was my “light at the end of the tunnel” so to speak. I left Cleveland airport Friday morning, landed in Baltimore and drove to the Virden Center at the University of Delaware. What was going to be five days of complete, selfish relaxation for myself and a friend while staring at “mermaid tears,” and dutiful walking on the beach became an emotional train wreck.
A lovely voice mail from the arresting officer was waiting for me upon my return to our room after a nosh on the bay Saturday evening.
Imagine the sound of a needle crossing the entire length of your favorite vinyl LP. For those of you who don’t remember the finger nail on a chalkboard sensation of THAT sound, think of fingernails on a chalkboard. Right.
“Hello Ms. Nash. We have your daughter in custody. She was arrested for shoplifting . . .”
My first impulse was to bust out of the retreat and run the entire way BACK to Ohio. My second impulse was to find my daughter and slap her. My third impulse was to find my daughter and hug her.
I assessed the moment.
Anyone ever done that?
Have you simply been so overwhelmed that you sat back and said, “WTF Mate?” while staring at the ceiling trying to breathe? Trying to remember to breathe?
Luckily for my daughter — and in retrospect me too — the powers that be would have kept her in jail until my return on Tuesday night had I not signed temporary custodial paperwork in case of medical or legal emergencies to her two adult brothers who still live at home. I admit it, I said to the officer that might not be such a terrible thing; but it was unthinkable.
My little Winona thought she could “five finger” some cosmetics and get away with it. Between she and her friend, they took approx. $36 worth of makeup. My Winona is not an adult, she is 17. Her friend is 18 and will be tried as an adult. Furthermore, her friend was driving with a suspended license and the officer in charge told me that I should pay attention to whom my children associate with.
Oh, I’ve been paying attention. For all the good it has done me or my darling Winona Wanna Be. She’s been vitriolic at best recently. At worst? Incorrigible, heinous, mean and contentious to the extreme. But — she’s MY daughter.
Tuesday night, after my eldest picked me up from the airport, and I arrived home — the wee Winona and I had a pow wow. She’s frightened beyond belief, as she should be. They kept her in the holding cell for about three hours and put the “fear of Gawd” into her. She’s going to appear in juvenile court in a couple of weeks and I’ve decided that I’m not going to get her an attorney, she’s going to have to get a job and pay her own fines, and suck it up.
Unlike the real Winona, my wee version won’t get to host Saturday Night Live after her debacle — but she WILL get to spend the next several months of Saturday night grounded. I have ceased to be the “best friend mommy” and I’ve become “the mommy.” Period. If she doesn’t like me, oh well. Right now? I don’t like her much either. I’ve arranged for counseling, for the both of us — and we’ll get through this together, if I have to take her kicking and screaming the whole way.
So here’s the shizzy, what did you do when you were “almost groan up” that you regret? How did it change you? What would you have done differently? Why?