Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Adventures in Real Parenting: I feel stupid and contagious
"This is a rotting cesspool of social anxieties with an overwhelming smell of adolescence."
This comes from a text I recently received from my precious 13 year old. I'm applying the adjective precious loosely.
She's in the throes of adolescence so I'm surprised, quite frankly, that she can detect the smell of it. Some days it's easier to like her than other days. She's smart and stubborn. A loner who doesn't want to be alone. Unconventional, but sensitive to the reaction of others. A Jew without any religious training frustrated that her school holds its Meet Me at the Pole religious service every year on Yom Kippur, but refuses to speak to her class about Hanukkah when given the opportunity.
My hugs could easily metamorphose into throttles for the ways this child stretches my patience well beyond where it's been pulled before.
I remember telling my mother that I hated her, but loved my boyfriend. Testing my limits with alcohol and cigarettes and hungering to be recognized as the grown up I thought I was.
And yet, there I was, lip-syncing I Will Survive into a hairbrush alone in my bedroom while Andy Gibb peered down, shirtless and tan from my wall when I was home alone.
Oh yes. That.
Suddenly, a little teen angst doesn't seem so annoying. She's on the swim team not choosing between menthol or regular Virginia Slims. She's learning how to make a rag rug out of old t-shirts, not acquiring a taste for beer. She's not hating me with the fury of a thousand Justin Beiber fans.
It could be so much worse.