As I may have mentioned a few times before, I have a daughter and we have started middle school, or what some call “junior high.” When I say we, I truly mean the both of us, as the ups and downs of these first few weeks have taken more of a toll on me than on my more adorable half. I don’t know if I need yoga, therapy, marijuana, or all three! It’s exhausting being a preteen/teen now, more so than when we were growing up. There are so many decisions to be made at all times. I literally, from the time I wake up until the time I lay my head down, feel like I am in deep negotiations or drafting the great parent / teenager peace treaty. I have to be on my toes at all times, sharp as a tack with eyes peeled for any type of bombs coming my way. I think with girls it must be harder because their desire for popularity and socialization runs much higher. I’m not sure, but there are missiles coming at me all the time.
Take today as a measure of what I’m up against. My daughter tells me that a new girl, who’s name she has repeated all week like a mantra, yet still eludes me, wants to get together. The mom emails me and, because she is one who at least reached out, I entertain the idea and call her. I expressed how we are not ready for the unsupervised mall visits, to which she politely replied that she wasn’t either. So, we agreed on an at home date with supervision so the girls get to see each other but the parents are comfortable. My daughter agreed that this was acceptable. When I tell you, before I could even hang up the phone the girl cancelled and said she was going to the mall with another friend (who’s parents clearly didn’t care) for an unsupervised hangout. I sat there baffled and speechless. Did I not just have a conversation about not going to the mall? Well, not quite speechless, I managed to tell my daughter that this was a lesson learned. “That girl did not care about getting to know you, she cared about going to the mall parent free with makeup and boys,” I preached. Yes, it hurt her feelings, but it was a lesson for everyone. People are what they do, not what they say they’ll do. For me I know the pressure and manipulation from our kids is real, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. My daughter, nor my peers, will never get me to do something that may be harmful, in the long run, to my child, or that I’m simply not comfortable with. They grow up fast enough, so like my husband likes to say, “We need to pump the brakes on that just a little longer…”