Monday, March 7, 2011

Mom said there'd be days like this

I am now the parent of a teenager. Pumpkin, my amazing child, turned 13 this past month. And I'm waiting for the hurricane. The hatches are getting battened and the windows covered in plywood. I am heading for higher ground and pray that the next seven years pass without either of us suffering any permanent damage.

I remember my teen years. They were many things, but FUN was not one of them. At least not very often. Adding to the excitement was the fact that my Mother hit menopause the same time I hit puberty. Yes, it was the House of Hormone Hell -- especially in the 1970s when there was not the same understanding and balms for the biological storm that marks both of these transitions.

My child entered her teens by starting at a new school in a new city. We have moved from the small city where we've been for almost 4 years to a large metropolitan city. The move was for solid reasons -- Mom got a job here.

The one big reality when you are a single parent is that there really isn't anyone there to pick up the slack. Not when you are tired and sick. Not when the one nerve you had left is rapidly fraying and in danger of breaking. Definitely not when you lose your job. So, I did what I had to do when there was nothing that matched my skillset available in our old home. I branched out.

Don't get me wrong, Renfrew and the Other Mother (OM) are great parents. But reality, being what it is, we are not living next door to each other to share the daily benefits and burdens of raising our communal child. They have her with them 3 weekends a months. And even though our new home is substantially closer to them (30 minutes v. 2 hours each way), it is not practical for them to be involved in the day-to-day stuff.

It is what it is. And I am not complaining. Considering the fact Pumpkin was the result of much medical assistance and (in the end) Divine intervention, the very fact I have been blessed with the chance to be a parent is worth any price. The fact the child in question is smart, funny, talented and beautiful, well that is just icing on the already 10 layer cake.

In my tradition of looking at the positive aspects of almost anything, I am trying to focus in the strengths that she has been demonstrating. I realize that her deep sorrow and even anger at having to move away from her core group of friends is a testament to her intense connection and sense of loyalty. Her nervousness and angst at the new city and new school illustrate that regardless of her like or dislike of the situation, she wants to do well and find a way to 'be' in this new place.

She is, after all, my child. She is my Mother's granddaughter. She is my Grandmother's great-granddaughter. The line of women in our family stretchs back to pioneers who left the safety of their homes behind to find a future on the prairie. We have a tradition of adapting to where our lives take us. We are resilient and able to weather the storms.

So what can I say, but Mother Nature --> Bring it On.

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