My daughter is ruining being a teenager.

My daughter needs me.

I know it’s true.

Even (and especially) now that she’s a teenager.

It’s more obvious all the time that my oldest baby needs occasional babying despite my natural inclination to only baby the babies.

Sometimes I succeed at giving her what she needs.

And sometimes I fail.

But let’s talk about me, shall we?

Let’s talk for just one minute about what I need.

I need my daughter.

I need her.

I do.

Not to baby me, of course. Although if she occasionally wanted to bring me my slippers, a book, a cup of coffee, and silence, I wouldn’t say no.

No, I need my baby to make me feel better about myself.

In particular, I need my baby to help me continue to justify my own, long-ago teenage life. To help me understand that the ways I was a complete, fundamental awkward mess were normal. Routine. Absolutely the same as everyone else.

And, while I don’t use this space often to complain about my family, I need to get this off my chest.

Abby totally bites at making teenagers look pathetic.

She does.

She just does.

Like today, for example, when she played with make-up and fashion and didn’t have the decency to look awkward or insecure.

See?

Do you see?

She is wearing a schmear of bright blue eye-shadow, y’all. And – gosh, I’m so embarrassed to say this – it looks good.

My daughter can’t even screw up blue eye-shadow. And – I’m pretty sure I’m right here – if you can’t screw up blue eye-shadow, you’re doing teenager wrong.

The End.

……….

P.S.

Dear Miss Abby,

I hope you don’t think your mama’s too hard on you. I know – I do – that you’re only in your second year of being a teenager. You have time – years and years of time left – to consider the error of your ways and make corrections.

I want you to know, even though I’m old, I understand. Despite glimmers of early teenage promise, I didn’t get into the full swing of being a holy terror and making my parents question my sanity, my judgement, and my taste in eye-shadow until I was sixteen.

Baby girl, it’s OK to be a late bloomer like your mama. Do not be discouraged. I love you love you. To infinity. Even though you’re messing everything up.

xoxo,
Mama

 

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
6 comments
  1. My 13 year old is messing up being a teenager in exactly the same way. Full of kindness and sweetness and lovingness and weirdness and beautifulness. But no awkwardness anywhere to be seen. The silly little thing. <3

  2. haha SERIOUSLY! no fair 😀

  3. I feel your pain. It ain’t even fair. Abby is a doll.

  4. Wow, she looks perfectly poised and pretty! I remember how awkward and ugly I felt at that age. Ugh. So glad those years are behind us!
    It looks like Abby, at least, is enjoying your {naked} vacation!
    ~Sharon

  5. And, just think: if Abby can’t ever manage to get it right, you have 4 more lined up. I’m willing to bet at LEAST one of them will (over)compensate.

  6. Aww Beth, she is beautiful. And you are right, experiments with make-up as a teenager should NOT result in glamour. When I wore mascara and eye shadow for the first time @14, my 3 year old baby brother said “You look scaaaarrry/” And grabbed the skirt of my dress to cover his face. Now that’s normal. That’s OK. We all have our special talents. Mine was Halloween makeup. LOL

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