Getting personal with this post so beware!
Okay, so this is what happens when your beloved daughter smokes and can’t find the courage within herself to stop. Even when her body is talking to her, telling her that smoking, not eating right, and perhaps even drinking too much at times might really be bad for her. Might end up costing her more than she’s aware of at this stage of her young 21 year-old life.
Yes, I know, others have done worse. At least she isn’t a drug addict or selling her body on the street. I know she would only do either of those if left no choice, like the majority of kids out there doing those things.
But this is my daughter I’m talking about. So, here I have a problem within myself. I have some choices to make. Yes, this is about MY choices right now. My first reaction is to get in her face and make her miserable until she gets it, and I mean REALLY gets it, that her body is giving her signals she isn’t listening to. My second is that I’m her mother, she’s 21 and can make her own decisions and that I should stay out of it. This last option I hate.
Now my thoughts on these options are the same: she’s my daughter. I love her and want her safe no matter what. She thinks she isn’t strong enough to quit smoking. I know she is. But what good does it do for me to know it if she doesn’t feel it or invest in her own strength. Part of me wants to go up to where she lives, steal her away for a month and take her somewhere where no one can find us and make her understand what she’s doing to herself. My husband, her father wants to take her home with us when we leave where we are for Easter. Yeah, right. Like doing either of those things would go over well. The other part of me says to back off, leave her alone to find out these things for herself. With that option I find myself thinking only of the medical bills she very possibly might have in her future, not to mention the impact on her young life (obviously there are other issues here I won't go into).
We are a busy body family. We tend to care maybe on the side of error, if that is possible. Yes, I know she needs to learn from her own experiences, but, as I said before, this one has the potential to be life altering if not life taking. I can’t just sit by and let it happen without doing the best that I can to help her see what she’s doing. If that makes me a bad mother, an over protective mother so be it. If it makes her turn me away, well I’ll risk that too, if it helps her to understand the cost to herself of not listening to her own body. I would risk that because I love her that much and I’m not only afraid, but see my daughter not happy. I don’t want to cripple her by being over protective. I want to believe she will come around before she does permanent damage. I want to have faith in the strength I know she has. So for now I have to accept where she/we is/are. She’s 21. She’ll do what she wants. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it or sit back and let her go down without a fight.