Those of you who know me on Facebook have seen me recently complaining that Sofi has entered the teenage years waaaaaaaaaay ahead of schedule. My sister (who is all Conspiracy Theory these days) says it's from all the Rbst in the milk we drink. I suspect it's just being an only child for so long has accelerated her development. I imagine my mother would call it Karma. Except she might be more tactful about it than that.
All that aside, what I really need to know right now is how the HECK am I going to survive the next eleven years? Or let's be optimistic and assume that I can continue to home school and she graduates at sixteen and we'll say nine years.
Oh Lord have Mercy.
Going back to my mother for a moment... She was really great during the teenage years. I look back now and I honestly don't know how she was able to keep a straight face during most of it. Or a sound mind either, for that matter. I wrote poetry as a teenager, people. And I cried. Every day. For different reasons-- none of them very good, really.
And now I find myself having passed on the Extreme Teen Gene, but without having inherited the Dealing with Teens Gene from my mother and I'm in deep do-do.
Last weekend, in an attempt to build bridges, we went to get a "grow-up haircut". She's getting too "old" for pigtails and braids, so I helped her pick out a nice layer cut, chin length and then we bonded over a soft pretzel. It looked nice, we were happy, the pretzel was tasty.
And now. Now she spends a majority of her free time in front of a mirror brushing it as flat against her head as she can, wetting it down with water and plastering it to her scull because she doesn't like "all the fluffy and the curly-- it needs to be straight and smooth, Mom."
This morning I curled the ends under for her and she wept WEPT afterwards when she saw all that luscious volume-- volume that grown women go to extreme lengths to procure for themselves. And all wasted on a seven-year-old teenager who thinks smooth and straight is It. And then, as she flounced around the bathroom bemoaning her "poofy" hair, she whacked her head into a shelf and BAWLED. Real tears pouring down her face. And I just laughed so hard!
I know. Bad mommy. I tried, really I did!
And now I realize how hard it is going to be to let her grow up into her own person, with her own likes and dislikes and opinions and preferences. Very hard. I want her to be me. Me, but better. Me with all the parts I don't like about myself ironed carefully out and replaced with the parts I like about J. But she isn't me. Not at all. She's Her-- something new and different and beautiful that God has wrought. It's very sweet and very hard to have a daughter.
So, Mom, in case you're reading, I want to apologize for the bright purple pansy pantsuit in ninth grade. I now know how much it must have cost you to let me go out in public wearing that and I appreciate it. And thanks for reading all my poems and not laughing at me. And if you want to do it all again, you can have Sofi for the next nine years....