Raising a daughter is not for the faint of heart. I only have one and she keeps me on my toes. At age thirteen, she is still relatively new to teenagerdom. I survived the teen years long ago but it is a whole nother carnival ride watching your children feel their way through it.
It’s kind of like that ride that you didn’t want to get on in the first place, but your friend talked you into it and now with every rotation you are screaming at the carny, for the love of God to just stop everything and let you off, but he is so dead inside that he can’t even muster the will to laugh at you.
That is exactly what raising a teenage daughter is like.
I take things in stride I must say. I remember what it was like to be that age. When she has emotional meltdowns or looks at me like she could literally stick a knife into my body, I don’t get offended. I know that sometimes she feels like someone threw her into the hormone ocean and left her there to drown. The problem is that their moods often change quickly so you really have to pay attention. Don’t get blindsided.
Last week the weather turned warm and my daughter informed me that she had absolutely nothing to wear. Gone are the days when I could bring home a bag of Gap and stuff everything into her closet. Now she has her own style opinions and I am no mind reader. It was evident that a shopping trip was happening.
We hopped into the vehicle to head to the mall and I could already tell that she was salty. Which I have learned means angry, agitated and/or upset. I decided now was not the time to mention that I was jazzed to be taking time out of my busy day to drive her all the way to the mall and spend fist fulls of dollars, all because she decided to grow a woman’s body in one season. At that moment I didn’t feel that she would appreciate my sacrifice.
So I just continued driving in silence. I didn’t even speak up when she turned MY radio dial. What is it with this generation? I knew good and well that my mother would slap me directly into the backseat if I turned her favorite song, when I was a kid. In different circumstances I would have voiced that sentiment but in order to keep mom/daughter shopping extravaganza on track, I swallowed my emotions.
Upon arriving at the mall I found a parking spot and off we went. I was there to be her personal shopper/assistant. The first store we burnt through like a forest fire, leaving bare racks in our wake. We piled shorts, shirts and swimsuits into a shopping cart until there was nothing left in the women’s section that we had not considered.
Next stop dressing rooms.
I was more than elated when she asked me to go into the dressing room with her. That way I could be in charge of removing items from hangers, establishing a Yes and a No pile AND fastening/zipping/buttoning anything that she needed me to. I could also give my opinion. And by opinion I mean I had final say because I was the one with credit card.
I noticed that my daughter’s mood had lightened. She was smiling and laughing. Instead of being annoyed by me, she was actually enjoying shopping. After we made our selections and paid we decided to take a lunch break. Feeling so good about the mother/daughter experience we opted for a little Cheesecake Factory, where not only did I let her order a lumberjack sized hamburger but also a piece of peanut butter fudge cheesecake. She said it was on her bucket list and who was I to crush hopes and dreams.
After our delish lunch, complete with good conversation and Instagram food posts, it was back to shopping. I feel like I should mention here that I went into Hollister for the first time. I have never felt so much like everybody’s mom in my entire life. Everyone in the store was a child. Especially the people working there. I felt like I should walk around handing out nutritious meals and sound advice to everyone.
It was clear that I was NOT Hollister’s target customer. They were super depending on my daughter to convince me that she couldn’t live without that cropped sweatshirt, complete with color changing technology. Meaning that when you go out into the sun, your shirt becomes pink, where it was once white. Well played, Hollister. I do make her wear a tank top under the cropped sweatshirt though because she is thirteen and stop with the cropped sweatshirts already. Sweatshirts are for keeping people warm. Not showing off their abs.
I had a great day and by the way her mood turned sunny, I think my daughter did as well. There is nothing like spending quality time with your child. I will only have her for so long before she makes her way to adulthood. Time refuses to stop marching forward. Heaven knows I have tried to stand in her way, to no avail.
I am so proud of the woman that my baby is becoming. But you and I both know that the journey to womanhood is not easy. I will be here to hug her back when she wraps her arms around me. I will cook her a meal when she gets hangry. I will stop whatever I am doing when she needs to talk about her day. And sometimes I will just drive the vehicle in silence while she tries to remember why she got mad in the first place.
I wouldn’t miss this parenting gig for the world.