Thursday, January 17, 2008

the future

Today I witnessed a glimpse of my future and man o man was it UGLY.

A friend's 4th grade daughter had a complete hormonal epidsode in front of me. From the "I hate my life!" declaration to the sobbing "oh MOMMY!" cling-on melt down, it was a never-before witnessed drama like none I have imagined. My heart felt for the little girl who clung to her mommy with tears running down her face and was shocked by the defiant not-yet-teenager stomping and moping around the house.

This is a kid that I care a great deal about and yet I have no idea of how I can reach out to her at this point. Probably, I feel closer to her than I should because she reminds me so much of my niece who now lives hundreds of miles from me. She is my Jillian replacement. A lot of the girl's anger tonight was directed towards me despite the fact that I was dumbfounded by the entire situation. I thought she owed her mom an apology for disrespecting her, but other than that I tried to be playful and attentive as usual.

My anxiety disorder tells me that it is over between us and that she'll hate me forever. The adult in me says, don't ever speak of it again or you'll embarass her, causing the contempt to fester. The aunt in me urges me to let her know that I understand how hard it can be to control your temper sometimes and that I'll always be there for her when she is ready for a friend. I guess I should probably take my meds and sleep on it - take things as they come.

Why can't I just stop caring about people? That would be so much easier and it sure seems like there are plenty of people out there doing it. Ugh, definitely time for meds!

The worst part, of course, is that someday my now sweet, toothless daughter will have hormone surges and constant internal battles with herself between becoming independent and being taken care of. I simply don't know how I will handle that. I've grown quite accustomed to the "mommy worship" that I experience most days. Maybe Dr. Keith will write a book about it before then. I bet Dr. Sears already has! If all else fails, I'll just watch closely to others and figure out what works.


Mrs. Chili said...

I'm living that future (my oldest daughter is a little more than ten-and-a-half) and I can attest that it's not fun. However, if you've spent the first ten years laying a good, solid foundation of a relationship with that kid, you'll be okay. There are times when I think decidedly uncharitable thoughts about my precious daughter, but I get over it. More importantly, so does she.

Be that friend to the girl. I love having MY girlfriends as support for my daughter - I love knowing that there's a network of women she can turn to if she needs help she feels I can't give her; and as much as that thought rips my heart out, I know there'll be times when she'll want to go to ANYONE other than me. I've got peeps to take care of her.

Candy said...

As the mother of a 17 year old daughter, I can say that they forget these outbursts a lot sooner than we do. I wouldn't make a big deal of it. Unless the next time you see her, she is visibly distant. My guess is, she's already over it and has had 10 more tragedies since that day.

It's harder for US to get over these things than it is for them.