Well, it has begun. I’m embarrassing my teen. Everyone told me it would happen eventually, but I thought I might be immune, like when genes skip a generation. I arrogantly thought my hip facade and brutal honesty would insulate me from the inevitability of tweener skulking and irritability. I am Fun Mom, dammit, not oh-my-god-will-you-please-stop-doing-that Mom. I keep up with music. I wear True Religion jeans. I don’t leave the house without wearing a bra, usually. I really thought I understood, and that my understanding would let me into her world. I mean, I have been a 12 YO girl. I have a vagina. Granted it was longer ago than I care to admit, (being twelve, not having a vagina) but I remember those feelings of angst, confusion, longing. The sting of harsh words from friends. The palpable awkwardness around people who intimidated me. The stupidity and cringe-worthiness of my parents. The disappointment of not making the team. Never feeling like my clothes were right or that I was smart or pretty enough. The disinterest of boys. I was definitely a late bloomer, assuming I’ve bloomed ever.

It wasn’t all insecurity and pimples, though. In fact, there were some seriously awesome moments. ¬†Laughing with friends over a secret no one else would ever understand. Duh. My wide-striped blue and white i-zod polo shirt. I can’t look at a photo of myself without remembering how I loved the shit out of that dress, or those shoes. I REMEMBER how I felt looking at those photos. I’m figuring out that knowing how I felt doesn’t necessarily inform me fully about how my daughter feels.

I am aware enough to not talk about tampons and who has pubic hair in front of my daughter’s friends. I just didn’t realize events like “breathing”, and “wearing clothes” would elicit eye rolls. I never imagined that talking to her friends about, I don’t know, topics, was grounds for mortification. All this from my 12 YO who at a restaurant recently knocked over the oil on the table, spilled the salt, and dragged her sleeve in her pasta. Right, because I’m the embarrassing one.

Of course, I was completely justified to think my parents were idiots. No matter that they may have been right about a few things. So few things. But, geez, the way they BREATHED was so annoying.