Thursday, November 13, 2014

Notes from Whatever Planet My Child Lives on These Days

I didn't post yesterday because of Precocious Daughter. After I left a busy day at work, I picked her up from karate at her former middle school, then drove to her high school for "meet the teachers" night, then stopped at the house just long enough for her to change out of her karate outfit, then to the mall to get her hair cut. If you're thinking I didn't mention eating dinner during all that, it's because I didn't. By the time I got home, I had been go-go-going for something like 14 hours. I was tired.

Peter Haken/
Dog tired. Get it? (Awwwww.)
This is what I've learned: Having a kid in high school is exhausting. It's pretty damn awesome, too; I mean, PDaughter is turning into an amazing young adult before my eyes, and it's happening at a breathtaking rate. But there's a thin line between breathtaking and out of breath. She's on one side of it, and I'm on the other.

Also, and maybe right on schedule, she's becoming baffling. That's what teenagers are, right? They're frothy concoctions made of hormones, inside jokes, and drama. My kid still seems to like me as her mom, which is great, although she's not even halfway through her freshman year, so there's plenty of time for that mother-daughter sturm und drang to foment. But the sense that she's becoming separate enough from me to maybe decide whether or not she likes me as a person is growing. Baffling.

Stuart Miles/
This, on the other hand, is pretty par for the course.

And not only that:

She's become a huge band geek. She took to marching band like a platypus to something a platypus really likes. Deviled eggs, maybe? I don't know. Anyway, for a parent, marching band is expensive, time-consuming, and involves a lot of late nights sitting in parking lots waiting for the band bus to show up. But she absolutely loves it, which means I love it, too.

Bernie Condon/
She has a boyfriend. PDaughter has her first boyfriend. My child is somebody's girlfriend. My shit is a little freaked can you tell or what? I haven't met this boy yet. I've heard his voice (on Facetime) and seen a blurry cell-phone picture of half his face. That's all. I know she's kissed him. (Excuse me while I die for a moment...........Thank you.) Also, he's a drummer. She has a Drummer Boy. That sound you hear is the apple not falling far from the tree. Confidential to Bestest Friend: Yes, I totally reused that line from the email I sent you earlier today. It was too good not to.

Sometimes she drives me crazy. I mean, what the hell do teenagers do in the bathroom that takes so long? Did I do that when I was a teenager? Probably, but I'm pretty sure that every time PDaughter gains an annoying habit, it drives away my own memories of doing the exact same thing at her age. It's an evolutionary adaptation so that we don't murder our young.

She's beautiful. I'm not bragging on my kid. It's just a fact, and I take no credit for it. It's not just that her face is pretty, although it really, really is (especially considering the mugs on her parents): It's that there's something inside her that just shines out. She's happy and outgoing and friendly and nice, and that is so beautiful. 

Oh, and one more thing...she loves the Ramones. I'm pretty much the luckiest mom on the planet.


  1. She loves the Ramones and she's dating a drummer. The kids are all right.

    I get that you're a tad freaked, but look on the bright side: she could love Megadeath and be dating a bassist.

  2. She sounds cool. That's great that she found something she is passionate about!

  3. Ah yes, the high school years. Yes, they are exhausting but (pardon the triteness) enjoy it - it goes really, really fast. Faster than elementary and middle school ever seemed to.


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