That’s Not When I Cried

The mommyblogger universe is awash right now in oh-my-heavens-my-oldest-child-started-school-this-year! tears.

Maybe it’s because MY “oldest baby” is now 14 years old -we’ve been through too many First Day of School(s), and with more children besides – but I think I’ve become desensitized to the whole thing.  Really, I don’t remember being so emotional.  My husband doesn’t remember me being so emotional.  I can’t decide if that means there is something wrong with me or not.

Kids go to school – we all expect for that to happen.  In fact, unless you are homeschooling, you’re looking at legal infractions if your kids DON’T go to school.  So maybe that’s why I didn’t cry – I knew I couldn’t outrun the inevitable.  You know when I did cry?  I’ll tell you.

I cried earlier this year when my teenage daughter abruptly threw up The Wall.  As far as I’m concerned, The Wall is not necessarily an inevitability of raising kids.  I know plenty of moms (including my own) who will say that every single teenager constructs a Wall tall enough to keep their parents out and wondering what the heck is happening on the other side.  But I have seen other families and had other friends who were able to navigate their children’s teenage years without feeling so confused and ostracized.  I believed with my whole heart that we were going to be one of those families.  I can’t tell you how many friends and acquaintances would comment on how close my daughter and I were, what a special relationship we had.  I guess that’s why when she changed the rules on me, it brought me to my knees.

So, while I sent my oldest daughter out into the world without a tear, I can still sympathize with all you new school moms in your sense of grief.  I guess all moms experience moments of mourning and loss while raising their children, mine just happened to come about 9 years later than most.

epilogue:  we’ve worked very hard as a family in the past 6 or 7 months, and i still believe my relationship with my daughter is strong.  it has just changed, and my expectations and assumptions have changed.  it has not been easy, but i have hope that all will be well in the end.

  • Jamie

    My mom and I have always had a good relationship, and I did talk to my mom fairly regularly during my teen years. Even so, I gave her plenty of grief. My mom did not always know what was on the other side of my wall (to use your analogy), and I did my fair share of mouthing off. BUT — and here is the part where I offer up my feeble “I don’t have teens yet so I’m just drawing on my own personal experience as a teenager” attempt to encourage you — it does get better. In fact, once I grew out of the moody, hormonal stuff that is so unmerciful young women during the tumultuous teens, our relationship deepened into something even better. Now, my mom is one of my two best friends (the other being my husband.)

    Hang in there. The wall will come down. (And by the way, I never get emotional about my son starting school either. Oh wait. Maybe that’s because I home school him? Hmm.) 😉

  • Megan Bell

    Although, I don’t have teenagers yet I do remember doing this to my mom. We had a few rocky years between the years of 15-17. Nothing too outrageous but we just couldn’t connect. Everyone would always tell me how much I was like my mom and I was intent on proving everyone- including her- how wrong they were. Something clicked my senior year and I decided to embrace the fact that I had an awesome mom and who wouldn’t want to be like her. We have had a fabulous relationship ever since and I consider it one of my best friends and confidents. Just another note of encouragement. You’re a great mom. I’m sure your daughter will come around!