This is only one of the accusations hurled at me by my teenage daughter in the early years of dating – my dating, that is. I “came out” and introduced someone to my kids after being separated from their father for FIVE years. Looking back, I think the problem was that she crossed the puberty line and she felt that I had too. She was full of rage, as was indicated by the statement she made as she stood at the back door about to run out and jump into her brother’s car. I’m sure he had no idea that he was being used as a getaway car. Honestly, though, I stood there dumbstruck. I had no idea where her observation originated. I was standing at the sink, with my hair up in a lose bun, in an enormous terrycloth robe, goofy slippers, and peeking over my “readers” so I could even see her. I was waiting for the water to boil to make tea. I was alone!
But she was angry. Wow, was she angry. After a few days, I reminded her that she was free to think anything about me, tell her friends anything about me, but she needed to filter what she actually said to me. That lack of filter, I predicated, would get her into trouble in the future. It’s not ok to say everything you think.
But, I also had to look at her anger. She didn’t want to share me. And she could hurt me most, something she excelled in during her teenage years, by shocking me with her lewd comment and fictitious observation. When I had the advantage of hindsight, I also saw that it was tough for her to see me as a sexual person. I’m her mother and there is a certain amount of Madonna haze on our mothers. I remember wondering why my mother would spend her limited free time in a confessional booth. What sins could she possibly have to confess?
But my daughter was angry that I was dating, that I wasn’t available to her 24/7 (although I was), that she might be losing me to someone else, and a bevy of other possibilities. So we dealt with it, as much as you can with a hormonal 14 year old. I doubt she’d remember her outburst today. I think she might respond in horror and then laugh in embarrassment. But now she’s an adult…and she often laughs at her teenage antics, if she’s able to recall them at all. What else can she do?