And then, when you least expect it, if you tilt your head and squint just right, you catch a glimpse of something that makes you realize that you are rocking this parenting thing.
My daughter, The Girl, is 11 years old and in the 6th grade, which in our area, is middle school. The middle schoolers of today are absolutely nothing like the way I was when I was in middle school, (cough) 15 (cough, grumble, cough) 20 years ago. My daughter comes home with horror stories from hell; crap straight off of an after school special. What these kids talk about, know about, and do, makes me want to lock The Girl in a closet until she's 25, just to shield her from it all.
Thank goodness it seems that so far... so far... fingers crossed... Hubby and I are raising a pretty awesome, morally sound, strong in her convictions, tween.
Which brings me to today's post. Yes, these scenarios all happened in the recent past, and yes, I couldn't be any prouder or any happier as a mom. Fingers crossed this keeps up through her teenage years and into adulthood. A mom's greatest dream...
1. While other 11 year olds around her are talking about "dating" and how "stressful" it is to have a boyfriend/girlfriend, my daughter stares at them like they've grown a second head and simply states, "Why do you want to be in a "relationship"? You're 11." Amen, sista, amen. Real dating, and real relationships, take time, effort and a level of maturity that 6th graders just don't have. While my daughter's friends are stressing over why so-and-so hasn't returned their text in 2.5 seconds, The Girl is
laying back in her pajamas, playing 4 Pics 1 Movie on her phone, only stressing about whether she wants to stay up until midnight watching her favorite show and sleep in the next morning (this is a weekend scenario, of course), or crash out then and get 14 hours of sleep.
2. My daughter stares at girls her age wearing 4 inch heeled wedges, cheetah print leggings, a too-short mini skirt, and 5 gallons of makeup and wonders if they got ready for school that morning in the dark. While The Girl and I have had our battles over skinny jeans vs. non-skinny jeans, and compromised on big fuzzy boots that have a very small wedged heels, we have not had to have the conversation about why my 11 year old was not leaving the house looking like a hooker. My daughter has never asked to wear makeup, either, and has actually stated to me that makeup would take too much time in the morning and gobs your face all up, so she doesn't want to bother with it ever. I understand she'll change her mind as she approaches high school, but for now, I'm happy with the clothing battles we've had, considering what I've seen other girls her age wearing.
|Yeah. What this says. Pic Courtesy|
3. While the other middle schoolers at her bus stop are in the middle of the road playing chicken with oncoming traffic, my daughter sits on the sidewalk and tells them they are stupid. You're thinking to yourself that there's no way this really happened, right? Yes it did, this morning, in fact (thus the inspiration for this post today). A friend of mine contacted me about seeing these kids running out in traffic, and told me that The Girl was not one of them, but she was posting it to a local online mom's group to get these other moms to check their kids. So, I did what any overprotective nosy mom does- I texted my daughter to find out who it was and why they were being idiots. When she and I were done texting, I thanked her for not being a part of the idiocracy and told her I was proud of her. Then I ratted out all of the kids, naming them by name, on the mom's group. If I knew their parents personally, I wouldn't have done that, but I figured they needed to know. I'd want to know if my kid was being an asshat like that. And, for those politically correct readers out there, yes, in cases like this, I completely advocate my kid telling someone they are stupid. Playing chicken with oncoming cars is stupid. There's no other word to describe it, unless you want to go with idiotic, moronic or dumbassed.
4. When my daughter's "best friend" was caught making a list of nicknames for the other kids in the class, which not only included cuss words but even went as far as to call one child the 'n' word, my daughter had no knowledge of it, and immediately deleted the girl's name and number from her phone, severing all ties with her when the girl was caught. What's that you ask? Did this scenario actually happen, too? Earlier this week, yes it did. My daughter has been annoyed by this friend for some time. She'd come home in the afternoons telling me how stuck up the girl had become, and how she thought she was better than everyone else. Oh, the woes of middle school best friends. So, this girl started trying to impress a boy, and when her makeup and slutty clothing didn't quite do it, she thought it would be fun to collaborate with him on a list of nicknames to give all of the other kids in the class, labeling one child with the 'n' word. Did these stupid kids (yes, I used the word stupid yet again) write this list out on a piece of paper for the teacher to find? They sure did! Simple handwriting comparison and my daughter's now-ex-best-friend is spending her days suspended from school. Before I could even start my Mom Speech of, "Well, you aren't to be friends with that girl anymore..." The Girl finished off her story by telling me she deleted the girl from her phone and never wants to even look at her again. Yeah, that made me smile.