*Warning – the letter you are about to read comes straight from the heart and was written after a recent graduation shopping trip with one of my teenage daughters. If you are a mother who understands, I will gladly share my buttershot (or wine) with you while we share stories. If you’re not…do not judge me until you’ve had the privilege of spending hours upon hours at a mall looking for the perfect dress and shoes to match with a teen who hates to wear a dress.*
If I haven’t said it before – no, even if I have said it, let me repeat myself – I’m sorry.
I had NO idea raising a teenager would be so hard. No one warns you. When you gush about wanting to have children and that all you want to be is a mother – there’s a reason women plaster false smiles on their faces and nod their heads at you. I bet they want to scream, shake you silly and warn you that those cute little babies grow up to be mother-eating teenagers…but they knew if they said anything remotely close to that, you’d think they were crazy.
But it’s true. So very very true.
Either I blocked out my teenage years or I was an angel…because I don’t remember being like this to you. But I must have. I do remember though the hormones…how one minute I’d be laughing, the next crying and I took everything so personal – although you were allowed to look at me without thinking being asked ‘what’ all the time. I think. I’m surprised you didn’t just drop me off at any of my aunts homes, or even grandma’s during those years. I thought I was good, sweet, kind and the perfect daughter. But my daughters think the same, so obviously I was delusional.
Clothes shopping with a teenager – especially when it’s for a graduation and the girl you’re shopping for/with isn’t one to wear dresses…that’s like hell on earth. There’s a reason wine was created and it wasn’t for weddings. Well…it might have been – but for the parents to celebrate their daughter unleashing those hormones on someone else.
I now understand that little laugh of yours whenever I tell you stories about my girls. You knew, didn’t you? You knew that this is what life would be life – so why didn’t you warn me? A little payback maybe?
Someone once told me that our roles as mothers is to embarrass our children as they grow up. I deserve a medal if that’s the case. Apparently I’m a success story for that…I don’t know how to dress, how to shop, I don’t know what’s in style or cool or anything else apparently. I must wear sack cloth and paper shoes…
You tell me to enjoy my girls. To be thankful for them. That I have amazing daughters…they are amazing all right.
Teenagers – one minute they are angels, sweet dolls that you want to hang out with and you can see a time when you’ll be good friends. But then the next minute, they become something else, something from another planet that is completely unrecognizable and leaves you baffled, weary and torn from trying to hold it together. You swear they aren’t yours except you know no one would believe you.
Mom, I’m sorry for treating you like you knew nothing about life. That you couldn’t possibly understand what I was thinking or feeling and that there was no way you could sympathize with my broken heart, my questions or anything else that was happening in my life. I’m sorry for ever making you feel like you were never enough, because looking back, you were more than enough…you were strong, wise and smart. Thanks for finding a way to handle my hormones – even if it was tell me to go to my room to calm down. Thanks for not always losing it on me and for not treating me like I was treating you.
You survived me and I know I’ll survive them…and when I do, I’ll be the one with that smile on my face and the laugh in my voice as they grow up and have children of their own. But in the meantime, please show your daughter some love and send her more buttershots, cause I’m going to need them!
Love, your daughter.
ps. As I write this, that daughter I just took shopping and wanted nothing to do with me until she needed me to pay for the dress just came in and gave me a hug, is full of smiles and told me she loves me. Where was this happy girl two hours ago? Where did the cranky, angry stranger go? Please pass the wine!
I have 4 children,3 boys & 1 girl & I know how Tina B feels as far as feeling dumped when the boys get a girlfriend!!! My son ( youngest one) who was very close to me and was always in touch with me & get freaked out if he didn’t hear from me!!! Now it’s like I don’t exist sometimes since he got the girlfriend and I don’t get to spend the time together that we used to do!!!!! Also just to let you know my daughter hates dresses also & she is 34
I have boys, two are teens, one’s still an adolescent. Different drama with boys, but still some. 🙂
I remember those teen years of shopping all to well. My daughter would have me in tears before I would finally get enough and take her home. Good luck is all I can say, except it does get better. When they marry, move out, have their own girls and have to go through it themselves. My daughter is grown with her family and she has told me on several occasions that she is sorry for being a pain in the butt. As for me, my mom never took me shopping or did anything other than hit. She was abusive so I had no clue what it would be like except that I would NOT abuse my daughter. Even on a shopping trip when you feel like screaming and pulling your hair out… Good luck and they should appreciate having a good mom. God Bless you and your family.
Steena that was a lovely letter to your mom. I got a heartfelt note from my daughter when she got married. Boy did her teen years turn me more than grey. She thinks she has everything under control with her son and daughter and she tells them all the time that they will not get away with anything with her because she knows all the tricks. Ha, in a couple of years she will find out that there is a whole new set of teenage tricks. So I’m waiting patiently for the next letter and I will treasure it for ever!
Steena, as one who has raised two daughters, I can tell you that the first one is the most difficult during the teen years. The next in line sees what big sister is like and swears never to be like that and she will be much easier. If you can survive till she is 16 things will smooth out.
I hope so Julia 🙂
I hope you fall in a blender
I have a teenage son who is currently in his first relationship. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to compete with another for his attention. It’s really difficult to sit back and watch someone run his life and him not have a clue. I have tried to talk to him many times and apparently I am just being a PITA. I know that he loves me, but we (the adults in his life) are just not registering on his radar at this time.
I have apologized to my mom on numerous occasions before this because I could not imagine that I was as bad as him. Though, to be honest, I was probably worse. Lol.
Raising children is a hard job, but according to my mom, it gets better.
Good luck to you with your daughters, Steena!
Great post! Thank you for sharing!
I never thought about what it would be like to lose that place in my child’s life. It must be hard Tina.
It is very hard at times. I “see” glimpses of him when he is by himself, but it’s fleeting. I am hoping that he finds himself again soon.
Thank you. 🙂
Take this from a kid let him enjoy his relationship guide him through it dont be cringey
The great thing is that teenager’s years last the same as the rest, 365 days!!! I have two boys and boys don’t talk, they grunt. They feel exactly the same as minus the part where they smile and hug! LOL
I’m smiling at the whole ‘grunt’ part 🙂
I know your mom….and what an intelligent, wonderful, loving, daughter she has raised!! I didn’t have a daughter…although I wanted one the whole time I was pregnant…the Lord had others plans for me…..I wouldn’t trade anything…I mean it …..” Not anything ” for my precious son…who will be 50 this July 5 th…..bless his dear sweet heart and his love for God. What a wonderful man he has grown to become….and blessed me with two wonderful grandsons….my heart overflows with gratitude to God. Almighty!!!!!
Ha ha … I would’ve been one of those mothers who smiled politely at you while biting back the truth. 🙂 It does get better, thank goodness!
HA! Thanks Sheila 🙂