Being the mother of a teenager isn’t easy. Your “How to Embarrass your Teenager” handbook is constantly being thwarted by the “Being a Teenager, the Sullen Years” handbook your teenager received at 12:01 on her birthday. Teenagers live to be sullen and uncooperative. The prodigal daughter spends a lot of time being angry for things I didn’t even know I did. She barely tolerated the time spent playing a game with me and JMumbo today, hanging her head, peering at us from under her hair, like we were sucking years of her life she might never get back.
But sometimes, once in a while, it all comes together and you experience the movie scene moment. You know the one, where mother and daughter connect with laughter and meaningful conversation. Well, we didn’t really have the meaningful conversation, but the laughter was there. We were meeting Coach at the theater so he and JMumbo could see the 3-D version of Star Wars I. The prodigal daughter and I bought tickets to a later movie, “The Vow”, and headed off to Wally World to pick up a few things. It was time to find a bin that would hold the American Girl stuff and put it away. This is not an easy task for me, it means I really have to admit she doesn’t want to dress up her dolls anymore. She isn’t going to wear a Snow White dress again and sit on my lap while I read Franklin books to her. Years of make-up, hemline battles, and broken hearts lie ahead.
We found a bin after a brief search and a few choice comments about me talking to myself and me responding that I brought her along for a reason. (This is in the handbook mentioned above – mumbling out loud so your teenager can hear and be embarrassed for you.) She mocked my sock choices, told me certain bras looked like “what people your age wear”, and bribed a new magazine out of me. There were some smiles and one or two laughs. It felt like heaven.
In the movie theater we shared a popcorn and periodically she leaned her head on my shoulder. I pretended to cover her eyes at certain points and she giggled. We agreed it was a good movie and she understood how wrong the parent’s reactions to the situation were. Love conquers all, a bit of residual princess theme, still resonates with her. We sang along to The Wiz on the way home. It was a moment and I’ll try to hold onto it when sullen girl makes another appearance, testing my patience. That for one brief moment, the prodigal daughter and I were living in Camelot.