Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Problem With Teenagers

We are breaking down boards to make room for growth; it seems like these girls are doing nothing but changing lately. Both of them are testing the seams of their clothing and somehow, between washings, their most trusted pieces have gone astray.

The oldest is almost as tall as I am now, but she does not want me to know it. Every time she catches me trying to size her up, she squats downward to insure that my measure isn't true. I laugh and wonder why she does that. It is just one of the many differences between who she is and who I was at the same age. I was always trying to press ahead to the next thing, be something that I wasn't yet—make-up, boys, starving myself good-enough— not her though. Her tension comes from the other direction; she's quietly trying to resist the pull.

For years, she has rolled her eyes at the word teenager. Somewhere in her personal thesaurus it has been listed as a synonym for words like dreadful and ghastly and yuck, but with the flip of a few more calendar pages, she'll be there. It is going to happen to her, too, whether she likes it or not.

I jokingly draw attention to this fact, and her response is decidedly adolescent: she does not find her mother amusing. I figure that this is a good sign and that we are headed in the right direction.

My child is sticking to her story, and won't be swayed by silly little things like chronology.

With the ground that she has remaining, she declares that, at the very least, she's not going to be like other teenagers, then.
This time I chuckle silently, and I pray for grace enough for all of us.

We pull pillows and bedding and headboards around corners and down stairs. She helps me maneuver the mattress into positions that give it kinks, past the intrigued three year-old at our heels, and under a ceiling that stoops to impede us.

All of the things that she loves, and some things that she has outgrown, now lay together in piles on the floor of her new room.

For the moment I leave her there in this tearing apart and putting back together; aware that it is her turn to do the sorting.

I leave her there, free to create her very own space, in her very own time.

This Post is linked to The Extraordinary Ordinary's free writing exercise, Just Write.

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