Speaking of growing up...today is Amanda's 12th birthday.
I feel bad, because sometimes, when people ask me how old she is now, I have to stop and do the math; quick mental calculations so that they don't think I'm a horrible mother. I mean, who doesn't know how old their own kid is? (Except for deadbeat dads or something--parents who aren't really in their kids' lives.)
And that's the thing. Technically, I'm NOT in her life. But it's not because I don't care; quite the opposite, in fact. But it's just so hard, with her not knowing the truth...I've gone into all that before, and I'm not going to go there again. Suffice it to say that 12 years is enough. I've reached my limit. I'm done with the bullshit. When she's ready to tell Amanda, she knows where to find me. Until then, I need to keep my distance. I can't bite my tongue any longer, and I'm afraid of what might happen if I'm around her until the truth has come out.
That's not to say that I won't call and wish her a happy birthday today. I'll fake the usual happiness and laughter; I'll talk to my daughter about boys and music and what she got for her 12th birthday. I'll say how I'm looking forward to seeing her again--knowing, deep down inside, that it probably won't happen any time soon. And I'll realize, once again, that my own daughter doesn't know who I am.