Seriously, how did you not kick me out by 16?!
I was a pretty decent kid. I minded the rules, got good grades, the typically predictable behavior of a Type A first-born. However, something happened around age 15. Something dark and mysterious fell over our house and it only affected my mom and myself. In a matter of minutes everything that my mom said or did became repulsive, untrue, and horrifyingly embarrassing to me.
I did not trust her. I did not care about what she had to say. I would have rather been anywhere in the world but around her.
Ladies, what happens to our bodies and minds when we are tweens/teens?! It is like we enter some kind of parallel universe that causes our eyes to constantly roll in response to any parental musing and our hands to flip our hair obsessively.
Mom, I’m so sorry I was such a sh*t teen.
I don’t have super vivid memories of that time, perhaps my mind’s way of protecting me now that I am a mother, myself. But I know I was wretched.
My attitude was like that of a feral wild animal and you could have been pouring your heart out to me and I would have been half listening and already mentally preparing my insult-laden response to hurl at you, sarcasm dripping off of each word.
Here is the good news. I got it together…eventually. Somewhere in the realm of 17-18 I realized you weren’t, in fact, clinically insane, and that you did have viable advice for my future.
I’m still not the dress wearing princess you’d likely dreamed about, but I know you are proud of me; not because I feel like you should be, but because you tell me–often. I never doubt your love for me because you never wavered in showing it to me, even when my actions would have totally rationalized your desire to throw me out the window.
Mom and daughter can go through bouts of insanely tense angst surrounding those teenage years, but if you can both make it to the other side, battered and bruised but no worse for the wear, you will have an awesome relationship that will continue to grow into adulthood.
So thanks mom, for not disowning me at 15. I totally would have. Man, I was the worst! But you were cool and calm and somehow kept it together. I’m guessing you must have stashed barrels of wine somewhere because I am only raising a 6 and 2 year old and if it gets worse from here, I’ll need a padded room!