Monday, 27 May 2013
If You Love It Let It Go......
I am having a hard time letting my butterfly go.
For one thing, I don't like the directions she flies in. Additionally, her wings are ever so fragile (though she is more from the 'My wings are like a shield of steel' school).
She rightly accuses me of hypocrisy (although I don't think I ever wore anything I had to be taped into) as I was a far from perfect teenager. Many have suggested that I may be reaping a severe case of karma, considering what I may or may not have put my own parents through.
All this is beside the point.
No. Actually. All this is exactly the point.
I am challenged by the dichotomy of my own teenage (hell....let's face it...my 20s, 30s and even 40s) self and my feelings towards my daughter's developing identity.
It was all so much easier when she was a kid. Somewhere between here and here I was relieved of my Flaming Sword. It's still there mind you, in the background, hissing and spitting in a somewhat lacklustre manner. I can encourage you that, from time to time, I still reach for it.
Like last Sunday night when she came in and started to get ready to 'go out'.
Me: But it's Sunday....
Her: Oh Mum! I worked yesterday so I didn't get to go out.
Me: Ye-es. But...it's Sunday......
Her: Haha...yes Mum...don't worry, we'll have an early night...probably be home by 2 am
Me: (spluttering) 2 am??????? (This is obviously some strange usage of the word "early" that I wasn't previously aware of).
Her: Haha...Mum you are so cute...
Me: No, you mistake me....don't you have work tomorrow?
Her: Yes but I don't start until 12pm...I can sleep in...
Me: But.....it's SUNDAY
So OK...that bit wasn't exactly me reaching for the sword.
Look, don't get me wrong, the BA is essentially a good kid. She volunteers at the Red Cross shop on Saturdays; she cleans up our kitchen (with a prompt); she gets to work on time; she is a loyal friend and enthusiastic employee. I just wish she didn't view the whole world through the lens of 'personal appearance/read: body image' and the motto 'I party therefore I am'.
I am hopeful that her overseas trip (when she gets to it) will sort out some of her priorities and help her settle to a more worthwhile purpose. It certainly had some effect on me in 1979 when I did my backpacking thing.
Of course her travel plans have been put somewhat on hold by the fact that this young man will be back from Afghanistan in 2 weeks.
He has been away since March and he will have no doubt changed. I somehow feel that the BA will not commit fully to her overseas trip until she has run the course of things with this very nice, but inevitably 'not quite right for her', young man. Of course, I could be completely wrong and she may marry him and become an army wife.......
Now I wanted to finish with:
For those of you who visit this blog for wise insights into child rearing....could you please come back in about 5 years ad I'll give you the benefit of hindsight :-D;
but I suddenly realised I was thinking about this from completely the wrong angle.
The whole point of the Flaming Sword is that it 'sets things up'. What you do with these precious tiny souls throughout their formative years will have a major impact on their development at this end of the journey. Of course, you cannot really parent to totally avoid drugs and alcohol, you cannot parent to avoid stupid casual sex and you can rarely parent to avoid young men taking their motorbikes down the Norton Summit Rd at high speed (OMG I LOVE that you can just google that!) but you can know that underneath that veneer of testosterone or oestrogen, they are still the babies you nurtured.
Example in point: the other night the BA hopped into bed with me (in her onesie) to tell me she loved me. We discussed some of her friends and their choices, we reflected on her her various employments, we shared the excitement of Army Boy's early return date....
What she does on her 'nights out' is beyond my control. All that I can hope is that she has been imbued with sufficient sense of self to fend off the d*** br**ns and to conduct herself with dignity and self worth. There are definitely girls that age who do this. I know because I was always (sadly) bemused by them..........