My son asked me what I would do if I was walking behind a blind man who dropped a million dollars. Would I keep it or return it?
The question seemed like such a great opportunity to talk about how important integrity is and how we always do the right thing, even when no one sees (no pun intended).
As I channeled my best Monica Aldama and began my life-changing speech, my preteen daughter interrupted and gave what could only be described as the most mocking of lectures. She sarcastically answered his question on my behalf, incorporating all of the words I repeat constantly.
You know, the things that no one ever responds to, so surely they must not be listening?!
Oh, my friends, your children are listening. They are just waiting until the ripe age of twelve to regurgitate them in a way that is equally impressive and destroys your self esteem in one conversation.
Honestly, I should have known this was coming. When I was twelve, I was being so disrespectful to my mom that my dad made me get out of the car on the side of a highway. As a personal injury lawyer, he made sure I knew that the most dangerous thing you can do is get out of your vehicle on the side of a highway. Yet, there I stood, my twelve year old self so unbearable that the danger was worth it.
You could say present day me is reaping what I sowed.
You could also say that it’s a miracle that any mother allows her child to live to see her 13th birthday.
From what I can tell, I certainly won’t get there with an ounce of dignity left.
Which brings me to my point. It’s time to start a Support Group For Moms Of Preteens. Each week, we will gather to tell each other that our athleisure wear is super cute. And our aging faces are flawless. That we are the BEST moms who honestly care too much about our kids.
Some of these might be stretching the truth *a bit*, but it’s an important component to balancing out the barrage of horrid words we hear on the daily:
“You are actually going to wear that in public? Mmmmkay.”
“You know a little exercise would get rid of that double chin.”
“WHY DO YOU HATE ME!! WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT ME!!”
(Note to the reader: this response comes as a result of asking the preteen to throw away her trash in a calm, normal voice.)
At home, your very presence is usually met eye rolling and loud sighs, but at SG4MOP, all are welcome and appreciated. We will eat yummy snacks without the threat of being told we chew too loudly. I don’t want to spoil everything, but let’s just say you will actually breathe without being yelled at. I know, I know. It sounds too good to be true.
Meetings will be held weekly, as a way to build up our confidence as we navigate this treacherous time.
You will return home with the assurance that your wardrobe isn’t quite so awful and your skin care routine is totally working. You will be greeted by your preteen who agrees that your outfit is actually kinda cute. And you will have the most fun conversation with her about a silly video she watched and what business she wants to start and what boy is cute and a friend who hurt her feelings and a friend who makes her laugh. She will practice a new hairstyle on you and will tell you sincerely how she is so happy to have a mom like you.
Because when parenting a preteen isn’t the absolute worst, it’s the absolute best.
And I suppose that is the reason she will live to see her 13th birthday.
This is a photo of me as a twelve year old, proof that preteens are idiots. I actually considered this outfit stylish the very year I mocked my mom’s fashion so aggressively that I nearly could have died.