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.
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 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.
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.
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.