My daughter turns 13 on Thursday and I’m not sure how I feel about that. It’s not that I’m scared of her growing up too fast. It’s that I don’t seem to know her anymore.
I was the mom that did everything in our house. I shopped, cooked, cleaned, drove, and planned everything. I was the one to train our puppy. I was the one that found after school activities. I was the one to help with homework.
Consequently, I knew everything about my children that any one person could possibly know about another. I knew what clothes they owned. I knew the games they played, the music they listened to, and the movies they watched. I knew their exact location at all times. I knew all their friends’ names and faces.
Now it would seem I have to make an effort to know all these things that I just somehow knew in the past. I have to monitor my daughter’s phone. I have to ask my son what game he’s playing this week.
Both of my kids have friends in the neighborhood, but I’ve only actually met a couple of them. I had to set up the parental controls on my cable box for the first time last summer so I could at least be assured they wouldn’t be watching those awful late-night “lorns” on Showtime and Cinemax.
Sure my son is 15, but for some reason, my daughter’s birthday fills me with a sense of foreboding.
Maybe it’s because I know what kind of teenage girl I was. I was spoiled by my dad and given a lot of freedom by my mother. They had no idea what I was doing unless I was asking for money or a ride. I had always been a good student, so as I got older, they didn’t hound me about doing homework or even attending classes. I really don’t know how my parents kept their wits without all the technology I have available to me.
Part of me wants to be that overbearing mother that has to know absolutely everything about my kids. On the other hand though, I know they don’t always tell the truth and everyone has their secrets.
I respect my kids enough to trust them to make wise decisions. It just scares me to death that my daughter is on the verge of some very big mistakes.