My daughter, Emily Okaty Wilson, has a blog on WordPress entitled My Pajama Days. Many of her posts are about the joys of being a parent, but she also writes about the trials and tribulations parenting brings. My oldest granddaughter, The Tortoise, is about to turn fifteen and wants very much to take drivers’ education at school. Since she’s been told she won’t get to take it if she doesn’t bring her grades up and has shown no serious move in that direction, she may be taking the bus to school through her senior year. Hmmm…can you take the bus to college?
Anyway, lately there have been more trials and tribulations than joys, thanks to those moody, roll-your-eyes, my-mother-is-a-meany teenage years, Emily’s posts have reflected her frustration with trying to make a child responsible who refuses to cooperate. I felt for her and left a comment on a recent post she entitled “Being a Parent Can Suck the Life Right Out of You.” I wrote, “I know how that feels…” Her response made me laugh. She wrote, “Is it too late to apologize, Mom? If not…sorry.”
History keeps changing as we age, doesn’t it, and we can see things from a different perspective? I wonder what things I did that drove my parents crazy? I’m glad my mother never wrote a blog! Though there are many, many differences between my daughter and oldest granddaughter, I also see some similarities. I think it’s hard to raise girls. My sons never rolled their eyes, at least not to my face. My daughter’s struggles with her oldest are not really her fault, though. When she was that age, in a heated moment my husband shouted, “I hope someday you have a daughter just like you so you know how it feels!”
I wish I could assure my daughter that everything will turn out fine in the end. After all, I couldn’t have wished for a more loving, talented, and responsible daughter, and one who is a darned awesome parent. But going through these times of parenting is not an easy task, and she’s right. Parenting can suck the life out of you sometimes, especially when you have to do something that makes your child angry and resentful towards you, but you know it’s the right thing to do. If you had asked my daughter twenty-five years ago if she understood our need to take away the privilege of going to a school dance because she broke curfew for the nth time in a row, she would have screamed a resounding NO! Ask her now, and she will not only totally understand, she will feel the same pain we felt when we had to do it all those many years ago. As for my husband’s wish that she have a daughter just like her, I hope he’s right, because she would be lucky indeed.