I’m dedicating this post to my 12 year old daughter, Cheek, because frankly I want to strangle her right now. She’s driving me out of my mind (no it’s not just a short putt, dad). I need school to start, and quick, because her life hangs in the balance and so does my sanity. Are all tweens bi-polar? I’m trying to remember but honestly my middle school years are a blur. I think I blocked them out. I actually thought that this summer would be a breeze. With the birth of my third (what WERE we thinking?) mid-June I assumed I would have a plethora of help, what with my daughter being so grown up and everything! Fail. But not completely, it just depends on what “mood” she’s in. There are days where I get just the faintest glimpse of what a wonderful woman my daughter will become. She’s smart, brave, kind, compassionate, helpful, so loving, and is friends with everyone. Then there are the days that Dramatween takes over and she is holed up in her room for days, crying at the drop of a hat, or yelling at her brother. Some days both of these personalities make several appearances. You know those mailbox type openings prison guards slip food through to the “crazys”? I’m thinking of installing one in her door. Needless to say, this summer has been mass chaos. I don’t function well in chaos. School starts in exactly 6 days, 13 hours, and 24 minutes?
So, in all of my anger and frustration over the battle I chose this morning (her room) I walked past the wall where we record the kids’ growth. Please see the picture to the right and try not to focus on how dirty the wall is. This girl of mine has grown two inches in the past three months. Three and a half inches in the last six. She is currently taller than my sister, her Mamie, and only has four inches to catch up with me. We just spent a small fortune on clothing because she literally grew out of everything she owned this summer. But it was looking at this wall today that made me realize, she’s growing up. Her craziness is from those horrible hormones that attack cute little girls and turn them into young women. Her mood swings are a result of all the confusion that growing up causes. She’s caught between being the girl that loves American Girl dolls and the tween that loves Justin Bieber (gag). She recently had our hair stylist give her a pixie cut which swiftly pushed her into the tall and gorgeous category. Her style has changed, her taste in music, movies, and books has changed. We talk about boys instead of Barbies. Everything is changing. Did I mention yet that I am most definitely NOT ready for this growing up thing she’s got going on?
So now I’m torn. Do I strangle her for being a total brat and deliberately disobeying me? Or do I grab her and hug her like she’s never been hugged before because, really, how much does it matter if her room is clean when my little girl is slipping away? Maybe I can do both at the same time.