Thursday, May 07, 2009
Amanda Panda
Amanda tends to be the oldest girl in any group we are involved in by several months... which is a serious stark contrast to my being the youngest mom in all of those groups...
What? I can evil laugh. I'll be almost thirty in nine days.
Anyway, Amanda's birthday is in November so she kinda just slid right into qualifying for entering kindergarten with the cut off being September and a lot of her friends are as much as eight or nine months younger than she is. This means I get to have thirteen first.
And let me tell you people, I am so mentally preparing for thirteen.
I say it out loud often.
I think about it often.
I cry about it frequently.
I mean, are you kidding me? My baby is going to be thirteen? People, she is more than two-thirds of the way out the door. The next few years are going to be chalked full of social stuff. Everything from softball and volleyball games, dances and practices to going to her friends games and rodeos and plays and ANYTHING TO GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE. I know this because girls, upon turning about fourteen, suddenly find about a bazillion things to do that keep them out of the house. Now luckily, I live in "the country" and so she can't just skip off to the local theater.
Oh no, she has to have a ride.
That single sentence right there is what makes ninety-four percent of the kids who grow up where we live move away to New York City or Los Angeles. They just want to be close to stuff. Anything. Just not cows. Or their parents.
Now you other mothers of daughters may not know this, but up until now, we've been trotting along on this nice and scenic path called Motherhood. There were little bunnies in the grass alongside the path, birds flew overhead signing sweetly, the sun shone on us keeping the temperature at a very comfortable seventy-five degrees. Yeah, sure, occasionally the path got a little rocky, but for the most part it was smooth and skip-able.
Hope you liked it because it's gone.
My nice path has shrunk into this tightrope.
Above one of those cartoon crevices.
You know, the kind where the river at the bottom is a little squiggly line and buzzards are circling.
Yeah. That's what happens to your Motherhood Path. It becomes dangerous.

Amanda now has three settings:
1. Ridiculously sweet and amazingly cheerful.
2. Tolerant.
3. Holy shit, where did my daughter go!?

That's it. There aren't any little in-between notches. Just those three choices.
And much like a pregnant woman [I can say that without offending after having birthed three daughters btw], she just randomly chooses moods like t-shirts, or rather they choose her. Thankfully, I can remember my emotions being these psychotic uncontrollable things. I remember once sobbing and then laughing so hard I almost wet my pants (which is easy to do when you're pregnant) all within like four minutes. So I get it. She's emotional. Her body is pumping all of these hormones into her sporadically and the adjustment time for hormones is... well, never. We never really adjust to our hormones do we?
But add to the emotional roller coaster my daughter's cruising along on this sudden brave I'm not taking shit from no one attitude and my little girl is a force to be reckoned with.
One of the things I was afraid I wouldn't help my girls acquire was the ability to stand up for themselves. I don't know how I did it but I sure didn't fail with Amanda. The other day we had an incident in softball and while I was discussing it with the coach, Amanda walked right up and said, "If ya'll are talking about me, don't you think I should be over here too?"
I was floored.
I so didn't have the balls for that when I was her age.
I still might not have them.
And through out that conversation with the coach, Amanda got very angry and started crying. But she never once walked off or backed down. She stood her ground and stood up for her opinion even when I didn't have her back.
I was very proud of her.
She was super mad at me.

People often laugh at me as I am on the cusp of this whole Teenager Adventure because I remain optimistic. Maybe I am naive... maybe all parents are naive right before their sweet girls turn into monsters. Or maybe I just have this faith in my daughter. I believe that no matter how scary this tightrope that I am walking is and no matter how far down the squiggly line river is, I think when I start to fall she is going to grab my hand.

Or I am going to look back one day and read this as I am medicated in the asylum and laugh hysterically.
It could go either way.

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so eloquently put by katehopeeden at 6:43 AM
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