There’s an interesting balance between love and disdain in the relationship between moms and daughters. When I was small I wanted nothing more than for my mom to acknowledge me and be proud of me. Please don’t take that as an accusation that she didn’t. She did and she was. I just couldn’t get enough. I followed her. I imitated her. I played with her.
Something happened around age 11 or 12 though. I suddenly realized that she didn’t know as much as I had given her credit for and frankly, she was pretty stupid. Of course, nothing had really changed in her. Something had changed in me. I was filling up with hormones that led me to believe I was invincible. My brain started growing and molding from thoughts, ideas, and behaviors by multiple teachers and other pre-teens around me who were also settling into their own form of genius. We were 12 and we were ready to concur the world…and we didn’t need our parents. Parents were lame.
My words became quicker and sharper. I no longer knew how to simply close a door. My brute strength required me to slam all doors. My eyes would uncontrollably roll and any advice from someone over the age of 25. I was pretty cool. My mom wasn’t.
Fast forward a few years and somehow, by some miracle, my mom found her coolness again and I acquired a small amount of humbleness. And then she was gone.
Hindsight is priceless and showed me how selfish, silly, and mean I had been. Grace shows me that while I was wrong, I was no different than most every other girl going through teen years. Most of us were jerks.
Fast forward a few more years and I have one of my own. On most days she is polite and kind and gentle. On most days she isn’t. That’s the thing about these years. Most days are not most days and there seems to be no compass for me to figure out how to navigate my way through all the drama.
She loves me. I have no doubt. But sometimes I’m stupid. Sometimes I make suggestions that might as well have come from the 1700’s because I’m clearly out of style. I may have worked in student or children’s ministry for the church for 14 years but I probably don’t know anything about kids or teens or the bible. Or maybe I know too much about the bible and not enough about life. And even though I maintain relationships with friends that I’ve had for many, many years, both men and women, I surely know nothing about friends. O boys. Or music. Or television. Or books. Or….
Some days it hurts my feelings. I shed tears. I cover my head with blankets and pray. And some days I just pray.
“Dear God, give me the grace to see her through your eyes. Help me to show her love as she needs. Help me to be firm but gentle. Help me to not poke her eyes the next time she rolls them.”
Or some version of that. I wish my mom was here so I could tell her how sorry I am for being such a monster. I wish she was here to stop me when I’m tempted to throw things. We could have a cup of coffee and swap stories of door slamming. And we’d make pie. And we’d invite over all the other stupid moms and we’d laugh.