the gregarious homebody

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Gift

Every once in a great while, it happens. The planets align, the setting is right, the words are there.

A mother says the right thing to her upset child.

My beautiful 10 year old girl is hormonal. As in about- to-get-her-period hormonal. At least I think that's what it is. She's gotten it once, back in the summer, and the signs were the same: crying "for no reason," totally irritated by everything I say, and complaining of everything. Now, granted, this could've been M on any day of the week the six months before she got her period for the first time, but ever since then she's stablized and has been back to her sweet(er) self.

So the past two days I've seen the warning signs again and today she was worse. After yelling at her (I didn't say I was perfect) for being nasty, I told her to go get into my bed so we could talk. As we lay on our sides facing each other, I reminisced about being a preteen. Weepiness, easily hurt feelings, irritance at people (especially my mom), and a general yucky feeling. I had it all, I told her. And she looked at me and she listened.

Her complete attention was mine and though her face was blotchy from crying and I knew she was hurting, I loved it. I marveled at her beauty and I relished the moment. I couldn't help it. I know I'm on the edge of the precipice of REAL teenage girl behavior. I know the snuggles and the talks won't last, at least for awhile. So I gave myself the gift of enjoying the moment, even though it came out of M feeling bad.

The best part, though, was the fact that what I said worked. Those of you with little tiny kids are still in the phase where you are a rockstar. If Mommy says it'll be okay, it will. But the shine is off that rose (or whatever the hell that expression is) in our house and we never know if what we say will be listened to, let alone believed. But this time it was. And I just had to write it down so that some day (tomorrow? next week?) I can read this again when I'm feeling like the stupidest person in my family because I've been told I am by my teenager.


Patricia said...

What an AWESOME post this was! I can almost see the two of you and I can only imagine the feeling you had when you finished talking with M. You are a supermom - don't forget that, no matter how many times your kids may try to tell you otherwise...

drollgirl said...

oh you are a fantastic mom. your daughter is so lucky to have you. and i hope she is nice to you over the next 8-10 years. if not, she'll come around and apologize one day and you'll have a fantastic relationship from then on.

jen said...

I'm just going to have to read your comments constantly in the coming days--not my post!

Thanks so much for the encouraging words.

adozeneggs said...

Sounds like your doing a great job. Now I'm wondering if I really do want a girl or a boy. (not that I'll have a choice)
Best of luck with her in the next phase, I have a feeling it's not going to get any easier.
My parents were divorced by the time I was 12 and I ended up living with my Dad. Which is probably why my relationship with my mother is so strained now.
I know you'll have a much happier ending than me. I can tell already that you're doing the right things.
now I'm going to go cry.

jen said...

Aw, Laura. Don't cry! I wish there was some guarantee that, as a parent, if you do the "right" thing, that it'll WORK.


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