I’m brainstorming here. I’d like this to be well thought out resonating post of parenting rationalization but the truth is that I’m sitting at my desk shocked by interactions that have taken place between myself and my teenage daughter in the past week, things that have come out of nowhere.
I know that over the past year I’ve come to a sort of mid-life-crisis in parenting similar to that of the 40 year old man that is mid-life minus the new Porsche and Viagra. My daughter is turning 16 in a few weeks and with two years left before the world sees her as an adult (which is WTF for another time, because really calling them adults at 18 makes my brain asplode). But in the past year while dealing with the thought of her spreading her wings I’ve realized that there was so much left to teach her, and so many things I did wrong over parenting that I wish I could delete. While she turned out miraculously amazing, especially for being raised by a teenage mom, I effed up on my part in more ways than I can count. There just isn’t enough time to correct those errors, not enough time to teach her to cook and mow the lawn and fix the car and change air filters and apply for jobs and interview and … and I’m in a panic. It’s almost over and I didn’t do these things. So I’m scurrying to correct, show, train – all the while she’s in a mid-teen-crisis of realizing that she’s nearly 16 and old enough to make her own decisions. She’s ready to have her own ideas and do what she wants to do, she knows everything, I’m stupid. Suddenly she feels as big as a bear, inferior, and full of teenage sarcasm and attitude. The way she has spoken to me in the past week has caused me to show great restrain because if she were an adult, I might just lay her on her ass.
But she’s my kid. My baby. The one that I have done everything that I can for, for almost 16 years, the one that I cried for,prayed for and worked for.
I have to remind myself of this because when I look at her with that teenage rage, I can’t seem to find my baby anywhere in her face.
With this great combination of my mid-parenting crisis and her new found mid-teenage-crisis spinning in to a whirlwind of chaos and arguments and tears and disappointment our life has been turmoil the past year but man, it’s been sheer hell for the past week.
A whole week. A week out of being under the same roof, as mommy and daughter that we will never get back, because the days aren’t stopping.
And I can’t figure out where her anger is coming from, the same that I can’t find the “soft side” of me that I’ve always had in parenting that would put an end to all of this, pull her into my lap and fix this, like I used to be able to.
For the first time in all of my parenting, I don’t like being a mom right now. It’s harder than I thought, but at the very same time, I love being a mom and I wish it weren’t almost over.
I’m a complete and total mess.
And in 4 more years, I’ll have another 16 year old. Someone hold me.