From Teenage Mother to Parenting a Teenager - Ooooh, Scary
Occasionally, me and my Mom would get into a disagreement that would make my mom so fed up that she would force a conclusion to the discussion by saying, "Wait 'till you have your own kids. You'll see."
As a kid, I felt like just getting that statement out of her meant that I had won the argument. Whatever she was saying that I did not agree with would be heard no more because I had forced a conclusion to the discussion. . But then there's the element of Kharma.
When I was 17, my mom's warning rang in my ears when my doctor told me I was pregnant with a baby girl. It was a very fleeting moment because I was too immature at the time to even recognize the song that began to play in the background as this story began. I was elated!
After all the griping my Mom did at me to go to school, to work hard, to show her respect, to LISTEN, I would show her! I would be an awesome (teenage) mother. I would never fuss. I would give my daughter all the space she needed. I would be her very best friend in the whole wide world.
Now, fast forward SIXTEEN years later to today. I find myself raising a kid that looks and acts JUST LIKE ME. I'm not old enough to have forgotten what this child is going through, but she won't believe me when I tell her that because as far as she's concerned, I'm old. . I have no clue what's going on because I was NEVER a teenager.
- [INSERT DAUGHTER'S NAME HERE], your bedtime is 10 pm, why are you up at midnight? RESPONSE: Mommy, you probably don't get this, but young people don't get sleepy at 10 pm. That's for old people!
- [INSERT DAUGHTER'S NAME HERE], your hair is beautiful. I do not want you to die your hair black. RESPONSE: Why are you trying to control me? I'm not like everyone else, Mommy. I want to be my own person.
- [INSERT DAUGHTER'S NAME HERE], if I don't know this friend, I do not feel comfortable allowing you to go over to their house or even having them spend the night in my home. RESPONSE: Mommy, you can't know ALL my friends. I have hundreds of friends.
- [INSERT DAUGHTER'S NAME HERE], I have no problem with you travelling. Just give me time to coordinate my schedule, so I can enjoy that time with you. RESPONSE: Mom, I don't need you crowding my space every time I step out of the house. I got this!
- [INSERT DAUGHTER'S NAME HERE], I promise that you will NOT die if you do not have those new jeans. RESPONSE: Mommy, you just don't understand!
Needless to say, my Mom's prediction was absolutely true.
God, I wish I could apologize to her now for being a PIA, to tell her that I know now that she did understand, and to thank her for showing me true stick-with-it-ness in taking care of a rebellious teen because ALL of that knowledge is really handy right about now. It keeps this "old" mom sane; and reminds her that at some point, even if I'm not here to see it, there's an end to this sort of grief.