24/7 with my teen
Those of you who’ve read My Teenage Werewolf may remember a particularly grueling and tear-filled (but ultimately okay) trip I took with my daughter to celebrate the end of 7th grade. Moods (hers and, in tandem, mine) changed moment to moment. The emotional rollercoaster ride was wild, sometimes disorienting and occasionally nauseating. We had some lovely moments, yes. But boy, did I ever have to work hard for them. Maybe my daughter did too, in a different way.
Okay…flash forward. We just returned from TWO WEEKS together. And by together I mean we slept in the same room, used the same bathroom, hiked every day together, swam together, ate every meal together. And I don’t even have ONE war wound (just a minor scratch, already healing). Were there some ups and downs? Of course. But the terrain is less precipitous these days. And, although I’m not good at this all the time, I am learning to …watch for the metaphor change…ride out the squalls rather than jump into heart of the storm. I am learning how wide a berth she needs. I am learning that what’s important to me is not necessarily what’s important to her, and explaining, emphasizing and reiterating the importance I perceive has the opposite effect. I am learning how she can be right and not agree with me.
I am marveling that we made it through the toughest teen (and parenting) years. There were long moments when I doubted we would. I am marveling at this young woman, newly graduated from high school, newly turned eighteen. About to launch. (Watch out, world.)