Friday, June 4, 2010

Thy Love and Thy Enemy

What a delicate dance it is, being the mother of a teenage daughter. We need our BFF moments. After all, I adore my girl, and I want our closeness to make her feel comfortable coming to me with anything she needs. I want her to feel like any questions, concerns, school issues, boy issues, and social issues are okay to discuss with me, that I won't yell, judge, or take any dramatic action. Being "cool" mom allows me to approach the inner sanctum, to be let in on the secrets that only her girlfriends might otherwise know. So this means sometimes checking my reaction at the door, maintaining a poker face, and being overly-meticulous and calculated in my responses.

Then there is the mother/daughter adversarial relationship. Mom draws the line. Daughter tries to cross it. Again and again. After all, the BFF wouldn't insist that the assignment be done before the texting, or that the laundry be picked up off the floor this minute or else. Sometimes being the mom means doing the opposite of the BFF, being a whistle-blowing drill Sergeant demanding she Be All She Can Be.

Either way, Mom of a teen is a 24/7/365 job. My waking hours and my short, troubled dreams are full of hopes and worries. I'd like to think that this will all change when she's grown, that adult-to-adult we can do just the BFF thing, that I will be able to quit the tough as nails, and I'll sleep without worry. Time and experience tell me that this is unlikely. We may have more laughs and fewer battles as the lines are redrawn over the next 10-15 years. Standing back and watching her suffer the consequences of her own decisions may require that I be tougher than any drill Sergeant.


Kathy said...

It's just the most blessed challenge in the world, isn't it? I don't have teenagers yet, but I sure am finding my 7 year old boy and girl TOTALLY MYSTIFYING lately. Have to stop and think, and take a lot of deep breaths to get through. Many days seem to go by just fine on autopilot, and then I'm thrown for a loop without warning. They seem to get more and more complex with age.

leepoe41 said...

Judy, sounds to me like you've struck a good balance & from what I've seen of your girl, you've done your job well. You have a terrific little family & although there may yet be some bumps in the road, all in all, it's going to be a journey worth taking & it gets better with each year.