Thursday, April 15, 2004

Midnight in Chicago

I brought my laptop along just in case I had time.  My beautiful girl crashed asleep as soon as we got back to the hotel tonight.
Going on a four-day field trip with a bunch of middle school kids (average age: 13) has been all kinds of fun so far. 
That was a joke.
I'm separate from the other parents, and I'm not quite sure why.  I have my theories.  A lot of it is on purpose, on my part.  I tend to hold people at arm's length.  I've always been a loner, but lately it's been rather extreme. 
Also, this is a small, private, Christian school that my daughter goes to.  The other moms are, for the most part, older than me and married, and they have short coiffed hair.  I feel massively inferior and different on this trip.  I was a mother at 19, I've never been married (though I have been with my boyfriend for eight years now, which is a very long time and I've heard the "when are you getting married" thing about a million times now), I haven't had short hair since eighth grade, and I don't usually wear pastels. 
Being separate has never bothered me before.  But now, I see my daughter going through the same thing with the other girls that did come on this trip.  I'm watching her, and she's separate from them.  And it really bothers her.
And it makes me feel terrible, because it has to be my fault. 
Chicago is such a great city and I hate to be feeling like this while we're here.  I don't know how to fix it, or if it can be fixed.  It's times like this, when watching her heart be broken is breaking my heart, that really makes me feel the loneliness of being a single parent.  I wish I didn't have to worry over this alone.
Hopefully Friday will be a better day.  We'll be visiting some of our favorite places, and I'll try harder to keep her company so maybe she'll forget that she was on the outside.  It's always about good memories.  What else will you have when it's all over?  This will be my mission for her for the rest of this trip.
I'll try my hardest.  Good memories.