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.
To think mine – 7 and 8 – will be the age of your daughter and grand-daughter. My heart skips a bit. Time is flying.
Tell me about time flying, LD! LOL
They grow up fast and no more matching dresses either. 😉
Yes, Eye, my daughter wouldn’t be caught dead in most of what I wear. LOL
as a mother of two beautiful women, I can heartily agree… girls are a challenge. My oldest was my stress and my youngest was easy. Maybe she closely watched her sister all through high school. Great post. DAF
Once they are grown, DAF, all those earlier stresses seem to disappear and the relationship can be a beautiful one. Assuming all of you survive, of course. Ha-ha.
This makes me think of the old adage: “a son is a son til’ he takes a wife, a daughter’s a daughter the rest of her life!”
Good one, Al. I think the relationship between mothers and their daughters just starts to get good once the daughter is grown and has a household of her own.
Yeah, I used to get the ‘wait til you’re my age and have children of your own’ thing from both my parents… but sadly for them, I never did have kids. I still remember what I put them through… and I can’t see a heck of a lot of difference in the way kids these days rebel. Surely our own parents rebelled against theirs in a similar way? Let’s hope your grand-daughter comes out of the difficult years as wise as you and your daughter are. 🙂
What a sweet thing to say, Val. As much as the two of them butt heads, I know they will miss each other when The Tortoise goes off to college someday soon…well, assuming she starts taking her studies seriously. Ha!
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Love the matching sailor dresses. I wonder if today’s moms and daughters still wear matching dresses. Probably not as much as people did in our day. Of course I had boys, so we never did anything matchy, but still plenty of eye-rolling just like the girls.
My daughter and I remarked that those dresses certainly didn’t show off our cute figures, HG! But we loved them when we bought them. No, girls today wouldn’t be caught dead in matching dresses with their mom. Can’t blame them.
If they did try to buy matching dresses, the daughter would probably want to pick one that the mom would not allow her to wear!
Ha! Yes, HG, nowadays that would be true. Emily had a sweet style of dressing. She was a Laura Ashley girl.
Emily is in for a surprise. One day, she and her daughter will be the best of friends. The teen years can be rough, and one would never expect a beautiful relationship to rise from the ashes. Love seeing your pictures, and knowing the age difference repeated itself. How cool is that?
As hard as things are sometimes for Emily raising her girls, she still gets weepy thinking about how quickly her oldest is growing up. She knows she is really going to miss her when she finally leaves home. All three of mine left home the same summer. How rude!
All in one summer? That should be illegal!
And the youngest had just turned 17 the week before he left. Not fair!
Very nice post that brought back memories for me, too! We went through a lot with one strong-willed 15 yr. old daughter who makes us proud today. She is one of the top administrators now with a major medical center and she has a daughter Emily (she was the 10 yr. old model wearing my wedding gown posted on my blog!). Yup, my daughter’s turn has begun, her 15 yr. old is a perfect straight A student and top athlete in volleyball in high school. How will she stall her off from getting her license? I’m glad I have no more teenagers to raise (my son is another story with his 3 youth!). When I stay in bed longer in the morning, it’s because all the kids need MORE prayers!
A-ha, Liz. Love the line about staying in bed longer to offer more prayers. We never stop praying for our children, do we! And now it’s grandchildren on top of that. But what blessings!
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My daughter is going through some of the same things your daughter is going through with her twin daughters, now 17. But they aren’t as keen about driving as she was at 16. They are more content with being driven about. I have no idea when they’ll get their licenses. My daughter got her learner’s permit the day she turned 16 and went for her license in a snow storm and passed. She was actually a good driver. The granddaughters are rather intimidated by it. Or by their mother. One or the other.
I wish it was just a license thing, Maire, but it’s about taking school seriously and doing her work and studying. It’s a constant battle. It wears you out.
I absolutely LOVE the photos! Seeing family continuity and being able to compare the relarionships across time is its own sort of family history!
Wonderful post! 🙂
Thank you, SHBG. I love pictures in posts, too. I sort of miss film because we don’t have photo albums from recent times. All our pictures from the past seven or so years are on the computer. That’s why those photo books you can buy from places like Snapfish are so nice.
You are SO right about the photo books! I’ve already decided I’m doing that for next Christmas: my thought was to take the best digital images of the past 5yrs and make personalized “books” for each of my kids.
Great idea, SHBG! They will love them.
This is oh so true Susan. Watching my three granddaughters grow into young women, I think I have seen it all. How I feel for the parents, but it’s true that girls usually come back to their mothers in spite of all the eye rolling and rebellion. Your post is right on and the pictures are delightful.
Yes, Dor, I love how close my daughter and I are now, even after all the head butting we went through when she was growing up.
Those pictures totally crack me up! Boy, how much older my daughter looks at fifteen than I did then…sigh. Love you.
Love you, too, my sweet daughter. Hang in there. It does get better.
I think you are on the right track with assuming that after an adolescence filled with head-butting, your granddaughter will become a woman as strong and wonderful as her mother. What my mother perceived as our own form of civil disobedience was actually (to me) a strong-willed, independent, creative personality. One of the dominant behaviors of a creative spirit is someone who questions and challenges everything and everyone while they internally step back to find a path that works for them. That is, after all, the definition of adolescence. I’d put money on your granddaughter ultimately defining her path as one that will bring beams of pride to her parents. Even the yellow brick road was filled with scary and frightening challenges!
Ha-ha, Carol. I’ll tell Emily that the Tortoise is just showing her creative side! My granddaughters are great kids, but I’m glad I’m done raising kids. I wouldn’t have the patience anymore. I’ve missed you. Hope everything is well with you. I miss your writing. Guess you are expecting a little snow tomorrow?
Oh Carol! I am going to treasure this response. Thank you.
What goes around comes around. My grands are still little for these sorts of battles but already there are some things that seem to echo from years ago. Sort of fun to watch. And painful too as you’re experiencing. Gorgeous photos!
I remember those years, Grandma, when raising kids just wears you out. But it is so well worth it…if you can survive!
Your last sentence made me smile. And I love that you have photos of you at your daughter’s age, and your daughter at your granddaughter’s age. Although I never raised a girl, I had my moments with my son. But, thankfully those pre-teen/teen years don’t last forever! I’m sure your granddaughter will become the wonderful woman that her mother is (and her grandmother!).
Thank you, Dianna, for those kind words. Having raised two boys, also, I know boys have their own set of challenges.