*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.*

Dear Mom;

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!