My girl came home from school today sobbing with a broken heart.
When I finally got the reason out of her I didn't know how to respond.
I wanted to rip the heart out of the perpetrator, but I assume that this is a normal maternal response.
I tried to assure her that everything would be alright. I tried to listen, without offering too much advice. I am after all just a dumb mommy with no life experience, and certainly no experience with boys. As my life after all only began 14 years ago and I was magically an adult.
Listening to her tale took me back to my own youth and it reminded me how many times my own heart was broken and how at the time it seemed like the end of the world.
I wanted to tell her that this too shall pass, but I knew she wouldn't hear it. I wanted to tell her that in 15 years she'd look back and laugh at how silly she must have seemed crying over some boy, but I knew that would only make her think that I didn't understand. I wanted to tell her that someday she'd find the boy who instead of making her cry would wipe all her tears away but I knew she wouldn't believe me. I wanted to tell her how much more life there is to experience, but I knew that this moment is all she can see.
I chose to take the delicate route. I chose to just listen and not say much. I don't want to overstep my bounds.
But all this got me thinking.
Being a parent tends to leave you feeling raw. Constantly questioning yourself.
From the time they are born you begin to question yourself. "Am I feeding her enough?" "Am I feeding her too much?" Eventually those questions subside, only to be replaced with new ones. As they get older you question things like when are they old enough to go into a public restroom by themselves. While you question yourself, it's only for a fleeting moment and then it passes.
But never in my life have I questioned myself like I do while raising a teenage daughter. I feel so raw and unsure of myself as a mother.
I know that we are at one of the most delicate places that we will ever be as mother and daughter. I know that the choices that she makes right now can very well affect her life for the next 4 years, quite possibly longer. I know that my reaction to those choices will affect my relationship with my daughter for the rest of our lives.
Which way do I go? Which way do I turn? Have I given her the tools that she needs to make the kinds of decisions she is facing right now? Have I shown her in every way that I know how to be a strong and independent woman and not to be swayed by peer pressure and insecurities?
Never in my life have I felt so raw. Never in my life have I felt such fear.
Time will only tell. I pray that I have shown that she can be strong and that I am always here for her. I pray that I have given her all the tools she needs to make the right choices. All the tools that I never had.