Teenage Years: Love through a lens

Dear Daughter…By the end of the week I will have a teenager in the house. You. Sigh. I know my love will have to come at a distance most days, perhaps through a telephoto lens. I can watch you, but not too closely. I can encourage you, but not directly. Any attempts at being too questioning, will result in a sigh, or worse, the dreaded eye roll.

Truth is, you got the eye roll from me. Anything that sends me through the roof, is something, on a good day, that I own and recognize within myself. On a bad day, clearly those things came from your father.

You are pulling away, which I knew would happen, but I miss you. Some days I want you to remain little, and on others I wish you would hurry up so I can like you again. Your dad looks at you like you have grown three heads when asking about unloading the dishwasher results in tears. He doesn’t deal with tears. I get it. You don’t think I do, but I really, really do.

I was once a sassy, silent, loud, artistic, anguished, angry teenager. I felt things from the tips of my toes, through every fiber of my being. Beethoven made me cry. Bryan Adams songs were poetic, and my friends were the best and worst on any given day. No one understood me and never, ever would. I was special. I was ugly. I was so many things at once, it made me want to vomit. I know you look at me and see a tired, middle-aged mom, but I didn’t start out this way.

For now, I will watch you from a distance and then I will swoop in on a days when I have chance. You are so lovely and don’t even know it. I love that. You take pictures of your brother and I will take pictures of you watching him. I see you playing with his toys after he has wandered away. Don’t stop playing. Ever. Don’t hide your intelligence. Own it. Please don’t dumb down. Nerd up. Love fiercely.

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”         e. e. cummings 

It takes courage and a hell of a lot of moxie to be you, bravely, and let the rest of you emerge, as time goes on. I know you’re up for the challenge. This mom will be waiting on the other side, but don’t worry, I won’t be far away. I’ll try to give you enough space to grow into the person you’re supposed to be. I can’t wait.

Love, Mom

Keep sharing moxie.

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4 thoughts on “Teenage Years: Love through a lens

  1. With four children I made one mistake – well, truth be told I made many, but I learned about the “hugging thing” after our oldest became a teenager and didn’t want to be hugged. The next three were told that they would be hugged by us whether they wanted to be or not. It worked! They might not have liked it, but they realized there would be no way out of it, so they tolerated it – even after sporting events AND in the presence of their friends.


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