I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “You just wait!” over the past few months.
If you, like me, are the parent of a tween, you’ve probably heard it too. Well-meaning people all over the place are warning me (with a slightly ominous tone I might add) of what I’m now thinking of as the “years of doom”… aka puberty.
My daughter has reached the age where she yearns for a bit of independence. And I am loosening my reins a bit by giving her some leeway when I deem it appropriate. Take last week, for example. My family took a trip to Cuba where we stayed in an all-inclusive resort. We were perfectly comfortable letting our daughter explore on her own, get drinks for herself and play with the friends she made there. We knew she was safe and she was thrilled with her new-found freedom.
But the situation back at home is different, isn’t it? We can’t let her wander the streets at all hours of the day. And I’m finding that because I’ve given her a bit of independence, she’s pushing for more and argues with me when she doesn’t get her own way. I know what you’re thinking right now: “You just wait!” See, I told you I’ve been hearing a lot of that lately.
We parents never stop worrying about our kids. And I find that the older my daughter gets, the more nervous I get about things I can no longer control. She deserves some independence, but that means letting her go and trusting her to make the right decisions. I can’t keep her safely locked inside the house forever (as much as I may want to).
Matt and Simone Porter, in Kathryn Croft’s The Girl You Lost, are desperately in love with their baby Helena. They are young parents, and Helena was a surprise, but they are content with the path their life has taken until the awful day that Helena is kidnapped and their lives are shattered.
Now, eighteen years later, Matt and Simone have adjusted to their new path in life. Instead of drifting apart like so many other couples who have faced tragedy, Matt and Simone are closer than ever. Matt has a thriving medical practise and Simone is an accomplished journalist, but they never stopped missing Helena even though all leads to her disappearance are long cold.
Eighteen years may seem like an eternity, but when a young woman approaches Simone claiming to be Helena, Simone’s sense of loss and heartache are as fresh as the day she was taken. Could this young woman be their long-lost daughter? Evidence seems to suggest it but Matt is more skeptical. Why would she show up now? What does she want?
Before they can get answers, the young woman vanishes and Simone is left determined to find out what happened to her. Simone’s heart is telling her that the young woman is Helena even though her journalist experience is warning her to investigate all sides of the story.
One thing Simone knows for sure? She lost Helena once already; she’ll be damned if she loses her again.
Kathryn Croft is a best-selling novelist. The Girl You Lost is her fourth book. Bookouture, 2016