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.
FYI, it really does get better. Sometimes. Other times, they are still 12 and you’re a bloody idiot.
When The Spawn was 12, she got her period. It’s not like we hadn’t discussed it or that anything she ever asked hadn’t been answered, but it’s totally different from reality. She locked herself in the bathroom and I spent half a Saturday morning on the floor outside the door, pleading and listening and trying not to laugh at her angst. Until she opened the door and asked me if I could call Dr. Mark (my ob/gyn) and get her a hysterectomy, because she was not going through THIS every month!!
I’ve been thinking so much about this topic. I’m almost as cool as you and I was sure Max would always introduce me as his best buddy or the best mom ever to his friends. He suddenly seems annoyed by every single thing I say or do. Guess I needed to be humbled a bit but it hurts.
ooo. that photo of you is soooo cute!
I thought my parents were bad, until I observed my friend’s dad picking him up from “after-care” (they didn’t have a name for it then, just a room at the JCC with boxes of parcheesi and graham crackers). If he had time to stay and talk he consistently shoved his fists down his pants beneath his belt buckle and rocked back and forth while chit chatting. If only I could shed that crystal clear image stuck in my mind.
Ha! My 12 year old also communicates with eyerolls and declarations of ‘that’s not fair’ to most requests….fun times eh!