She was looking right at me. Her eyebrows were slightly raised, as if her curiosity were piqued. Her head was nodding and her vocal chords were making affirming sounds, as if hanging on every word. But I knew better.

Under the restaurant table, my 17-year-old daughter was fully engaged in another conversation. As she feigned interest in my day, her thumbs were making her own evening plans. With occasional glances to her lap, she carried on running chats with her boyfriend, her BFF and any number of Facebook friends. This was our cherished, intimate mother-daughter dinner, and it felt like there were way too many people at the table.

Knowing she will be leaving my home in less than a year, I have become loose with my no-phones-at-the-table rule, along with a lot of other rules that might make hanging out with me less appealing. I must let go of any hopes of quality and settle for the scanty quantity of moments that might be left.

I learned this much with my first-born. When it comes to a nearly grown daughter’s attentions, a mother must take what she can get … and relish it.

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do your laundry or die alone author becky blades

Becky Blades, Author of Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone, and contributor to Huffington Post,, Scary Mommy, and Grown & Flown.