Last year, as the girls were out the door to their father’s house, I checked out “Your Ten to Fourteen Year Old” to find out what I was in for this year.
It told me that 11 year olds hate their mothers.
Don’t I have enough hardships with E? Do I need her hating me as well?
But for a really long time – MONTHS, even – she adored me, still. She thought I was the sun, the moon and the stars (okay, maybe just the stars … but she LIKED me).
- I’m dumb.
God, this list could go on.
She is now – and just now – at the point where she shakes off my hand if I grab hers at an intersection. She doesn’t want me talking to her friends anymore. It’s hard to get a hug.
But, I sort of miss her. And I hate her yelling at me. And I find it a little hard – being a parent of a tweener. It’s hard to be really strict, knowing that her independent drive will respond to my strictness by pulling away a bit more – emotionally.
which is the goal.
I know this.
And being her friend is NOT what she needs.
I know this, too.
She has a lot of friends.
They’re 11, and 12. They’re not 35.
I know we’re coming up on years where we are strangers to each other. Where she looks at me and sees something I don’t feel like.
But those years will pass. And we’ll be okay.We’ll sit in a family room, munching on chips and watching football while her kids ask me for help on their school projects.* We’ll go places together. We’ll ask each other for advice.
I hope that our tumultuous time in between is short, and that our windows of fighting are smaller than our windows of understanding.
*yes, that’s what’s happening right this minute – my dad, building boxes and finding paint with E, while my mom looks at girl scout cookie order forms with J, and the Pats are winning, and I am this irrelevant middle-generation sitting with her computer on her lap – invisible.