In my ever changing moods, I often find myself on a mood rollercoaster when it comes to being the mom of a 16 year old girl. I know I am not the first to roam these lands and will not be the last. I just wish the battlefield was sometimes easier and that it was not littered with the heavy sighs, the eyerolls, the comments, the frustration and anger. I knew things would change in these years but nobody sent the "mom memo" on how to lead the troops, or in my case, the little soldier, to happier grounds through happier trails.
Let me say this, though...I feel extremely lucky that a teen attitude is all we are dealing with. I mean, it could be much worse and for that, I am relieved. But, who knew the teen attitude could cut right through a mom?
The cheerleader is very head strong and stubborn. She is a very focused, Type A teen, gets good grades, is active and involved and is usually a very nice and compassionate kid. Until I enter a room. Picture a sunny day, all is happy, all is well and then you see a dark and menacing cloud approach. I guess I am that cloud in her eyes. A simple question, a simple comment, a simple request from me can suck the air out of the happy day. And, while that's okay, I mean, I am a mom and not a bff, it would be nice to sometimes, sometimes, sometimes have that little, smiling toddler still holding my hand and beaming up at me as if I really were the best fairy princess of all.
We have hit that time in every high schooler's life when it is crucial to talk about....ACT testing, college thoughts and choices, a part time job, GPA, tallying up extracurricular activities, volunteer hours, service hours for National Honor Society and the importance of planning senior year and maybe working on early admissions applications to college in the fall. At the end of some of these discussions, I feel like the teacher on Charlie Brown and the cheerleader sees me as the big, dark cloud.
More important things on the cheerleader's mind are, of course, upcoming cheer tryouts, the upcoming prom, prom date, prom dress, spring clothes shopping, spring and summer plans and getting her goat for 4H. (Yes, the goat....again.....) I mean, what am I doing going on and on and on about her future plans when the weather is now warm and she has a set of wheels??? I am so lame. Was I never young?
The cheerleader is very excited to go away to college. If she chould leave now, she would. She has always been very mature and ready for things coming her way. My grandmother used to say that the cheerleader always seemed like she was born as a one year old instead of a baby. My grandmother would be laughing now because that truly describes the cheerleader, now. An older soul butting heads with her mom who was never young, never applied for part time jobs, never filled out college applications, never did anything, I guess. Oh, how I laugh. I did all of that and basically did it on my own because most of the time, nobody had the time to help me or tell me how to do it. But...according to the cheerleader, that was in the old days and things are so different now.
I know that there will come a time when we become friendly, again. And on some days, we actually do have a ton of smiles and laughs. Those days are just so fleeting. I do take comfort that the cheerleader and Mr. Man have a great bond. So, if I need the cheerleader to do something, I ask Mr. Man to make it his idea. Then, it gets done with no tears involved.
Until then, I will just keep marching across the battlefield. I know that the battlefield is necessary and that in the end, a stronger soldier will emerge. She may be dragging her trampled mother with her but I will be right by her side.
In my ever changing moods, I just want her to know that even in these turbulent times, she is loved, cherished, cared for and always has a place in my heart. She will need that shelter, someday. She just doesn't know it, yet...