There are times when I have loved being a single mother. There hasn’t been anyone to argue with about what I think is best for the kids. No one to tell me what to do or where to go. I don’t have to okay anything with anyone; their father gave up that right years ago. It is just me making decisions.
And that means it is me taking the blame, too.
Ask anyone what it is like to have a teenage daughter and they will rant on about the disrespect, the rude behavior, the attitude. I’ve talked to plenty of mothers over the last year or two–“Is this normal?” “Is she supposed to hate me so much?” “Am I really as stupid as she says I am?” Every mother nods, smiles and reassures that it’s just teenage girls; they are a force to be reckoned with.
Logically, I know that. I realize her frontal lobe isn’t developed, that teenagers generally do think the world revolves around them. I know that she is just saying it to upset me. And day after day, it does. It wears on me and I wish I had someone to hold me up when she shoots me down who could come in with a deep, masculine voice full of authority to tell her it’s no way to treat her mother.
I have friends, dear friends, who support me and remind me that it the daughter isn’t the authority and even when she makes cruel assertions, they are just the spouting of an 8th grade girl. They remind me to take deep breaths and let it roll off my back like a duck in water.
So I try. I inhale through my nose and fill my lungs, exhale slowly, purposefully through my mouth. And again. But there are days when those breaths dissolve into sobs and I ache for someone to step in, help us manage these treacherous waters. Those are the days the anger boils over at events long past, at relationships since faded and I wish more than anything that this young teenaged girl had two people to guide her. Two people who loved her and each other, to be the object of her wrath — instead of only me, alone.
My family trio became a duo last week when my son moved out of his bedroom and into my sister’s house–1009 miles away.
I’d been expecting him to go, he was going to bring her kids home after their summer vacation with family. He would accompany them on the flight, stay for a few weeks and come back home. But life never quite happens like I expect and wham,bam Stuart suddenly had a job at my sister’s dental office.
If he wanted it.
He has spent much of the summer looking for a job with no luck beyond the small landscaping gig he’s had for years now, but suddenly there was a nearly-full-time position just waiting for him. In southern California.
He accepted, said his goodbyes to family and friends, then boarded a plane with his ten- and five-year-old cousins bound for LAX.
His room sat empty for two days, waiting. Maybe he’d change his mind. Maybe the job wouldn’t actually exist. Maybe we could still be a trio.
A week later, he’s getting settled in his new room and his sister has taken over his old room. Her computer is on his desk. Her sheets are on his bed. Her toys and books are on his shelves. And maybe in another week or two it won’t seem like they are his desk, his bed, his shelves, his room. Maybe it will feel like they are really hers.
Perhaps in a few weeks we will have morphed into a dynamic duo, instead of feeling like a tripod with missing leg. I feel this imperative to bond tightly now or we will simply fall apart. So I’m spending more time with her, talking more, being together more.
Is it just me or is Women’s Health using teenagers to promote an article on bringing the ‘sexy’ back into a relationship?
Really, how old are these two? 14? Maybe 16?
Seeing these two young’uns just makes me think of my kids, and while I know that’s where they came from, I don’t like thinking about sex and children at the same time. Especially, my children who are painfully close to looking the same age as these models.
Couldn’t they use a picture of a couple who are clearly old enough to have been in a relationship long enough for the sex to get a bit stale? These two probably met last week in English Comp class then hung out in the cafeteria for lunch. I’d much rather see a couple of actual adults–people whose frontal lobes have fully developed.