Saturday, January 24, 2009

Women...Can't live with

Today has been a female day. All the men in my house were gone for the day.

And I had an epiphany. My youngest daughter, who's 14, hates me. That's not the epiphany. We haven't been on the best of terms for the last few years. This has been really hard for me because as a little girl, she was...well, she was the one who hugged me, kissed me, and told me how great I was. She smiled constantly, took everything in stride and seemed the most well-adjusted kid that I had. She adored me and was so easy going.

We called her "velcro"...she was clingy that way. I carried her everywhere.

Today, she's 14. Different. Doesn't want me to touch her. Confused, I'm sure, and so damn rude and angry. Doesn't know who she is and I admit, I've had a hard time with this. At first, I was hurt. I took it personally and practically BEGGED her to like me. BEGGED her. was absolutely pathetic.

Three years later (yes, she bloomed early...the **** hit the fan when she was 11), I'm learning. I am not her friend. Maybe one day. But not today, not now. I have let her play me like a fiddle for too long, she has slipped away with more than her brother or her sister. The baby, my human velcro, it wasn't easy to let her go. And she knows that.

No more. She doesn't need a friend; she's got plenty. She needs a mother. A constant. Someone to tell her to slow down, someone who's not afraid to say no, someone who knows her better than she knows herself. Someone who's completely okay when she hates me because it's my job to speak the truth. To set boundries. To keep her from growing up way too fast. Not easy in today's culture.

Incidentally, but not really, in keeping with the theme, I watched a good movie today, The Women. It's a remake of a 1930's film, shown above, with Joan Crawford. There was not one man in the entire movie. Not one. Don't even think they're were extras, now that I think about it. And it was empowering. It reminded me that I, we, are stronger than we realize and that I want to pass that on to my daughters. They can see me as vunerable, but not weak, especially when it comes to parenting. It's business, not personal. Sometimes, with teenagers, that's the only way to approach it. The business of parenting. Because trust me, they want to make it personal. Always. That's part of their game.

Funny...I have been through a lot of hard times, weathered quite a few storms, but yet, when it comes to my girls, I feel like a failure. It's so different with daughters. Such extremes.

I hope they've learned some things from me. I hope when they're older, they can look back and say "my mother always said (fill in the blank). I hope they see me as strong, not because that pleases me, but because if they have, they will have learned to be strong themselves.

I hope.

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