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Lyra and Maia are like two peas in a pod. Seeing them together reminded me of the relationship Izzy and I share. We were inseparable as children and even during our teen years up to adulthood. While we were no longer inseparable since we both have careers, husbands and children, to me she was still my best friend. My only hope is that Lyra and Maia always remain close because I know how important it is to have siblings you can rely on for anything.

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That was why I decided to bridge the gap between Cyrus’ sister and myself. We always got along but after my big fight with Abbie, Blair and I became estranged. There was never any fighting between us or anything like that. I think Abbie might have influenced Blair against me like she tried to do with Cyrus and I decided not to push to maintain a relationship with someone who didn’t want one with me. Nevertheless, it was all water under the bridge now. Time was only going to keep moving forward and there wasn’t enough of it to go around for us to hold on to grudges.

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I wanted us to let go of the past so that we can move forward. I didn’t want Cyrus’ sister to feel like the only time she would get to see her brother was when he came to her place. She and her family were more than welcomed here anytime.

Pretty soon there were two more birthdays to celebrate.

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My very own silver fox! How is it possible that I find myself more and more attracted to him as the years roll by? You would think with one of us being an elder that it would slow us down but that is so not the case. We do have to take it easy afterwards, I mean, he is an elder now and I wouldn’t want him to have a heart attack.

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But now that Cyrus has had his birthday, that means mine is just around the corner. I don’t feel that old and Cyrus says he doesn’t either. I guess it’s true when they say that your kids keep you young.

What they didn’t say was how your kids can stress you out to the point where you start to find grey hairs before it’s your time to get them!

And not really all of my kids, it’s just Lyra.

She’s not a troublemaker. She gets good grades and she gets along well with others her age…perhaps too well.

And I think that might be my own fault.

When she asked if she could go on a date with some boy at her school Cyrus was dead set against it.

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Then I went and opened my big mouth and managed to convince him to let her start dating. It was only fair since we were both allowed to date as teenagers, though he actually dated people and I didn’t simply because no one asked me out.

I didn’t think it was fair for Kaleb to date and not her. Besides, Lyra had a good head on her shoulders. She was always so outspoken and self-assured that I didn’t think it was even possible for some guy to mistreat or take advantage of our little princess.

And then I caught her and some boy making out in foyer. The kid was practically sucking on her neck like some kind of vampire while she coyly giggled.

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I didn’t even know who he was or how she managed to find a boyfriend so quickly but I shouldn’t have been surprised since Lyra is a beautiful girl and could easily get the attention of any boy her age. I cleared my throat so the sound would alert them that I was in the room. They both pulled away blushing when they realised they were caught.

I tried to ease their embarrassment by not commenting on what I saw and instead introducing myself to him, “Hi, I’m Lyra’s mother, Mrs Sloane.”

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“Nice to meet you, Mrs Sloane. My name is Julian Villareal.” He spoke with such a heavy accent that I knew he couldn’t be from around here.

After speaking with him I learned he was from Windenburg. Julian was a part of the exchange student program at Lyra’s high school and they met after she was assigned to give him a tour.

We had a nice chat about his hometown after I revealed that I had travelled there when I was a teen. He seemed to be a smart, sweet boy who I learned could speak three languages. Honestly, he seemed like a pretty good catch and I was happy Lyra picked someone as nice as him to be her boyfriend instead of some douche.

I did notice that she seemed very distracted by whoever it was that was texting her on her phone and aside from when I caught her making out with him earlier, she didn’t seem like she was really interested in him at all.

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It made me a little relieved honestly. Lyra was way too young to start getting serious with someone so it was comforting to see that she wasn’t that invested in dating Julian.

A few days later, I was walking past Lyra’s bedroom when I heard a weird noise. I thought maybe she fell and hurt herself or something so I rushed in only to find out that she wasn’t hurt at all.

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Gah! My eyes can’t unsee what I saw that day! My teenaged daughter was fooling around under the covers with a boy! Yeah, I like Julian but I didn’t like him enough for him to have my blessing to mess around with my daughter!

When they heard me shouting they quickly got out of bed. Julian look embarrassed as he swiftly pulled on his t-shirt and pants. It was the quickest I had ever seen someone throw on clothes before. Meantime, Lyra was just standing there in her underwear with a goofy smile on her face not even realising how pissed off I was and how much trouble she was in!

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He scrambled out of there quickly muttering apologies as he went. I closed the door behind him before sitting Lyra down on her bed.

“What the hell were you doing Lyra?!”

“Relax Mom, Julian and I were just messing around. It’s no big deal. We were safe so there’s no way I can get pregnant or…”

“It IS a big deal! It’s a HUGE deal! You’re too young to be doing…stuff like that!”

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“Mom, please…”

“He didn’t…he didn’t force you or pressure you into doing this did he?” I asked tentatively, about to get my SimRay ready to give Julian frost bite in weird places if that was the case!

“No. It was my idea. He was too chicken at first so I had to convince him but once I did, he was more than willing…” She was so cavalier, so unembarrassed by the whole thing. If Dad caught me with a boy in my bedroom at her age I would have been so mortified and so afraid of what my punishment would be!

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“Lyra…you…you have any idea how lucky you are that it was me and not your father that walked in? Or worse, what if it was Maia?”

“I know, you’re right. We shouldn’t have done it in the house while there were people at home…”

“NO! You shouldn’t have done it period! When we agreed to let you date this was not a part of the deal! Lyra woohoo is something special that you should only do when you’re an adult and with someone you love and you are too young and I don’t think you even love Julian.”

“I don’t love him but…I don’t need to love him to mess around with him. He’s a nice guy and he’s cute and he likes me and I like him. I don’t see the problem here Mom. We were just having fun. You might think woohoo is for love, but I don’t see it that way.”

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I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “You are not allowed to date anymore.”

“What? That’s not fair!”

“You are obviously not mature enough for this so until you finish high school you are not allowed to have boyfriends or go on any more dates!”

“But Mom….”

“Do you want me to tell your father what I just walked in on and let him deal with you?!”

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I should have dropped the f-word a lot sooner and then I wouldn’t have had to get worked up. Lyra is such a Daddy’s girl and I knew she would hate to have him find out that she was messing around with a boy. I didn’t want to keep this a secret from my husband but I had to promise her I wouldn’t tell her Dad if she promised not to date anymore.

Stupid deal, I know, but it seemed to be working. She stopped bringing Julian over and she came home early after school since she no longer had to meet up with him.

And then one evening I realised I was wrong.

I got a craving for a latte and a scone so I went down to the old arcade that Cyrus and I used to go to when we were younger because I knew their scones were always fresh and tasty. I stood in line and overheard some of the other patrons whispering about a couple of teenagers who had been sucking face for the last fifteen minutes straight.

When I turned in the direction of the supposed love birds I realised it was none other than my daughter and her European beau!

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“Lyra! What the hell are you doing here?!” She was supposed to be at her friend’s house studying for her science exam not making out with the boy I told her she couldn’t see anymore.

“Mom!” She looked panicked. I guess she didn’t expect to find me there. It was a good thing I got that craving for a scone otherwise I would have never found out what she was up to.

“We had an agreement. You are not allowed to date anymore!”

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“We’re not on a date, I swear!”

“Lies! Then why are you here when you’re supposed to be studying at Simone’s house?!”

“We were hanging out. I knew if I told you I wanted to hang out with Julian you wouldn’t let me. You said I couldn’t date anymore so we’re not dating but that doesn’t mean I can’t hang out with my friends.”

“You make out with your friends? You think I’m stupid?!”

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“I think you’re being irrational Mom, that’s what I think!” She said, suddenly with bass in her tone. “The rules for dating now are different from how it was back in your day and you’re just trying to impose your old ideas onto me and that’s not cool!”

“Excuse me?”

“I’m not a little girl anymore. I may not be an adult but I’m not a child and you need to stop treating me like I’m one. I know what I’m doing!”

“I’ll stop treating you like a child once you stop acting like one. Now I want you to go home right now! This instant!”

“I can’t believe you! You just embarrassed me in front Julian and everyone here for no good reason! You’re ruining my life!” She cried before storming out of the cafe.

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There it was, the moment I had been dreading. That ‘you’re ruining my life’ moment that I was yet to experience with my son I had just experienced with my daughter. Now I know how Dad felt when Izzy and Jo used to say that to him. I was always the good daughter, the obedient one. The one who never went anywhere and the one he could count on to not grow up too fast. I never gave Dad any reason to worry so why was my own daughter driving me nuts?

After what happened at the arcade I knew I could no longer keep this from Cyrus since I’d need to have him in my corner if I was going to get through to Lyra.

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“…so that’s why she’s upstairs in her room throwing a tantrum. I told her she was grounded for a month for lying.” I just finished telling him everything that happened over the last few days while he quietly listened.

“You know, I remember when I lied to my mother so she would let me go to Craig Wilson’s house for a party. I said we had a history project to work on all night so she gave me permission to sleepover. I spent the entire night partying and drinking. That was the night I had my first kiss with Tina Russell…”

“What’s your point?” I interrupted him. “Are you trying to tell me I was too hard on her?”

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“Maybe a little.”

“Did you not hear the part about me catching her in bed with the boy?”

“Oh I heard that part and I’m not happy about it but Lyra was right when she said she wasn’t a girl anymore.”

“Cyrus, you are the same one who was against her dating in the first place! You always said you didn’t want her dating until she was a mature adult so why the plum are you so calm? You agree with this?”

“I don’t! I don’t want her hooking up with boys. I agree with you, she is too young for this, but I don’t think your approach is the right way to get through to her. Punishing her will only make her want to do it even more and if she’s as stubborn as her mother then she’s gonna do what she wants whenever she wants. Have you talked to her, like really talk to her about her perspective on this and properly explain your side or did you just yell at her?”

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 “I might have yelled….a lot.”

“Lyra is young and hormonal and she’s gonna want to do a bunch of reckless, dumb stuff that all teenagers do.”

 “I never did that stuff.”

“But Lyra isn’t you, babe. She’s different and you have to approach her differently. She might be stubborn but she’s not unreasonable. We should calmly talk to her about woohoo and the responsibilities that come with it. I guess that initial woohoo talk wasn’t sufficient.”

He was right. I had to approach Lyra differently if I wanted her to take me seriously.  I didn’t want to ruin her life as she claimed. I only want to protect it. She’s too young to understand the implications of casually hooking up with some boy she barely knows and I don’t want her to make a mistake that will haunt her for the rest of her life. I love my daughter and I’ll do anything to protect her for as long as I can, even if it’s from herself.

“Fine, I’ll talk to her again. But she’s still grounded!”

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