The Daughter is 12. She has been 12 for 1 whole month. That’s it. One. Month. And already everything is different. Ever.y.thing!
Apparently, I was the only mom in the entire school district who didn’t let their 6th grader wear makeup. And I was. All of my friends have buckled to this campaign of breaking down the last bit of tween innocence. I was holding down the no makeup zone all by myself. So, I did what every proud role model does. I caved. I gave up. I gave in. I bought The Daughter makeup for her 12th birthday. She doesn’t need it. She’s the kind of gorgeous that you can’t even hate. She looks like she came straight from Cleopatra via Kim Kardashian. But sweeter. And more innocent. It makes me a little sad everytime she wears it. Which, of course, is everyday. But it makes her feel good. She belongs again.
This has been the year of belonging. Requirements: Uggs, a Juicy Couture hoody, a cell phone, make up, 7 jeans. Thank God for grandparents and Nordstrom Rack! The Daughter now has one of each. Not so much that she’s spoiled….oh no, she is a long way off from being spoiled. Just enough so that she feels like she belongs.
I hate this part of growing up. This belonging part. But I remember wanting the same thing. I remember that my mom, the ultimate rebel, didn’t want to make it a priority and it hurt my feelings. So we save our money. We go in halvsies. We put things on our Christmas and Birthday lists. We belong.
Only now there is a new requirment. Facebook. Once again, all my friends are starting to surrender. One by one. I worry about the ability for kids to hurt each other on FB. I worry about how much faster and easier bad rumors spread. I worry about how fragile reputations can easily be tarnished. I worry about the in group/out group mentality of teens that was hard enough to deal with before the likes of texting and Facebook accounts.
So, what’s a mom to do? This mom tossed and turned all last night. Until finally I got out of my bed and went to hers. She slept with me every single night for the first 3 years of her life. It was the only way she would sleep. I haven’t slept in the same bed as her since. I curled up next to her and wept. I’m not ready. I’m not ready for her to be her own woman. I’m not ready for her to encounter heart break and peer pressure. I’m not ready to let her fight the battles that only she can fight. Here’s my big problem though…..She is. She is VERY ready.
So. Again. I ask. What is a mom to do? Anybody have any answers? When did you or will you let your kids get a FB account? How do you discern, as a parent, where the line is drawn between OK kind of belonging (clothes, curfew) and NOT OK kind of belonging (drinking, sex)?
Help a mom out……Hey! Is that a wrinkle hiding there behind the gray hair??