My middle school-aged daughters recently talked me into going shopping. Our second stop was the music store. At first they stood there like lumps of clay, girding themselves for what they anticipated would be a long, boring wait while mom sifted through hundreds of CDs. Eventually, they started looking around for themselves and tried to convince me to buy a CD by one of the newest pop stars.
What a disappointment when mom picked artists they hardly recognized. Blondie? Rick Springfield? The Bangles? “Fine Mom. Whatever.”
I played the CDs in the van on the way home. Before we even got there, they were claiming the CDs for themselves. Apparently, mom’s taste in music isn’t as bad as they thought it was. Of course, I was welcome to sit outside their closed bedroom door and listen if I wanted.
And so it has happened. The coolness of the teen years is settling in between my daughters and me like fog over the moors of England. What strange land is this? I expect to hear the call of a werewolf at any given moment. One moment, there will be two girls that adore me as their mother. The next moment there will be the curl of a lip and a snarl.
The girls think I am silly, but I have assured them that the growing desire for them to separate themselves from me is normal. Especially when I can’t find them in the store and I have the girls paged over the intercom. I’m sure they’d like to put at least several planets between us then.
“Why did you page us?”
“I couldn’t find you. I called everywhere.”
“I heard you.”
“Why didn’t you say anything?”
Vague look, roll eyes.
I try to remember what it was like for me at their age. I remember hanging on to the joys of my youth and reaching for the interests of my near future. I wanted to be both a child and an adult. I wanted toys, and hugs and homemade cookies. I wanted to be left alone with my best friends, my books and my records.
I absolutely did NOT want to hear from my mom that she knew just what I was going through and why. Please.
I’ll try not to embarrass them too much. I mean it’s not like I’m going to get to drive the Weenie-mobile like Dave Barry did and show up at their school, tooting the horn and yelling for my kids to hop in.
The girls have it easy. As long as I don’t show up in my Spongebob pajama bottoms and holler like Roseanne in front of their friends, we ought to get along just fine.