Living with blossoming teenagers is similar to walking through a mine field. What could be construed as a safe path of progress turns fraught as each step draws one closer to explosive life changing decisions. You might ask what could possess me to write about this again. (Check out my story Who Are You Again? if you get a chance!). Well, life has thrown a few curve balls over the past few months and as though that wasn’t enough, hormones have taken over my usually peaceful household.
Dealing with a stroppy teenager has given me enough grit to face a midday showdown with Clint Eastwood. My jaw locks and muscles bulge as I face down my daughter over her dress sense and choice of friends. The spark for the showdown? A rolled up school skirt. Now I can hear an outcry from most girls/women who have succumbed to the high school (secondary school) fashion of rolling up school uniforms to show off long legs and short socks accompanied by ridiculous pumps. I have never found this comfortable or necessary as a teenager or adult. If you want a short skirt, wear one. If you’re going to school, bloody well dress appropriately! Yup, true grit. I can hear the spaghetti western whistle echoing through the ether.
After a lengthy fight and lots of tears, it was agreed that she would act her age or face the wrath of mom. Not fair I know but necessary as I think she’s growing up way too fast and at her innocent age has no reason to be attracting the opposite sex. When she’s old enough to drive herself places, she’s more than welcome to pander to adult traits. I’m old school.
Now the twist. As I get older, I’m letting go of my own inhibitions I’ve had since childhood. My seriously strict upbringing is loosening its grip and what was once unacceptable in my mind is becoming more and more attractive. As a writer, it means I lose my inhibitions about writing in certain genres. It also means I lose myself more into the worlds created in my mind. I fear that one day reality will be a distant memory as I fulfill my wildest dreams. When that happens, the children I trained and judged will happily stand on that dusty street in the midday heat, calling me out to face my decisions. Does this deter me from facing down my teenage daughter? No! When her time comes to be a mother, she will face the same dilemmas and I wish her luck.
Until then, I will drive this family through their moral dilemmas with the astuteness of a nun as my own morals silently unravel. My hard lines and tough stances will hide the fears and realities of life I face as a mother and wife. Such is the life of a writer/gunslinger mom!