My girl is a very typical 13 year old. She is trying to find herself and tests the waters with her parents regularly. Girls are such different creatures! I can't believe my parents survived me...then again, I am sure I was an angel! It was my brother who gave our parents a run for their money! :) I have been reading a book called Queen Bees and Wanna-Bees which came out several years ago. It describes what happens to children - mostly girls, as they go through puberty. This book has made me able to say, "I am experiencing that! I'm not alone as a parent!" Most of my friends have boys or younger girls. I can't connect as well to them and I am sure they don't want to hear my woes of parenting my daughter. But at times I do get frustrated and I need to vent.
My daughter is very good at yelling at me and her dad. We are STUPID! We don't understand! We don't serve REAL FOOD! We need to SHUT UP! We need to LEAVE HER ALONE and QUIT BUGGING her. We treat her brother better than we treat her! I could go on, but that's the jist of life with a vocal, teenage girl.
Before my daughter headed to camp I did find myself being happy that I would have a little peace and quiet. I happen to think I am a wonderful mom. I would do anything for my kids and their friends too. Unfortunately my feelings do get hurt when I am yelled at. I am not that strong of a soul...I like to make others happy. Being yelled at puts me in a bad emotional frame of mind. I have been trying to remind myself that all the things my daughter says are not meant at me (or my husband) personally. Her hormones are at work and she's just beating her wings; like a baby bird before it flies from the nest. I keep trying to find a better way for her to "beat her wings" but she feels the safest taking her life out on us.
Now, I probably made one too many comments about being glad my daughter was going to camp to all who would listen. In retrospect, that wasn't the nicest thing to say. I am glad my daughter has had a chance to see the world without our influence. I am sure she'll come home a changed person, then she'll be sweet for all of one day before she resumes being her old self. Hopefully I will be able to remember we are her safe place and she'll be grown and leaving home for good before I like it. I do think she will leave home and not want to be with us forever someday. She's a very strong person. That makes me proud! And she knows I'll always be right here for her, no matter what.
But, the real point of my writing today is that while out shopping one day I had a friend comment to me, not too long after my daughter went to camp mind you, ...I think her exact words were, "I bet you are having a party now that your daughter is away." I think it was her tone of voice that angered me. I responded and said, "You know, I really do miss my daughter." "Oh, I know you do," was her answer. But again, her tone still didn't seem sincere and I couldn't let it go, "I don't think you really DO know." I harshly said. She quickly gathered her youngest and made some excuse that they had to run, turned and was gone.
Again, just yesterday I called my brother and he too made a comment about knowing I must really be insane because of the last e-mail I wrote. I said something like I really missed my baby and I couldn't wait to go see and get her. He asked if this was the same kid I couldn't wait to send to camp for a few weeks. I had to admit to him that I am indeed insane. But he all ready knew that!
I did not get upset with my brother. Instead he made me laugh. Maybe it was his tone. Or maybe it is our history. Or maybe it is our friendship. Or maybe it is just that I know he cares about me no matter what, because we are family, and family matters. I know that in my heart, I can say whatever to my brother and he can be a voice of reason for me. He can be honest and tell me how he feels, but he's still my brother. I might agree or disagree with him, but he's always going to be my brother.
My "friends" on the other hand...they need to be careful because they aren't blood. My real friends cared enough to ask how I was doing or how my daughter was doing. One even sent my daughter a letter! They are definitely keepers in my friend pool! :)