I vaguely remember being twelve. Shy, quiet, bookworm. I wore sweaters when it was eighty to prevent anyone seeing my breasts. (The reasons why is another post.) I’m forty-five now; I have hot flashes, there are streaks of gray in my hair. Because I’m so far from twelve I’ve forgotten how earth-shattering everything can be. Think I’m kidding? Our daughter burst into tears one night because we didn’t have ice cream.
I worry about her. Hormones hitting her like a house on a witch; couple that with her ADD and it probably feels like a subdivision landed on her head.
She sees rejection everywhere; if a teacher looks at her sideways she’s afraid social services will do a home visit. She’s afraid the boy she likes (can you feel her blush?) doesn’t like her. Her friend wouldn’t stop playing basketball to hang out with her. She wonders if anybody likes her at all. She’s worried about going to summer school.
Some days I’m convinced I’m doing everything wrong as a parent. Tonight all I could do was hold her while she cried. And I listened.
I love her, and I’ve tried telling her that “this too shall pass.” But she doesn’t believe me, because I’m so far from twelve.