Emotional

I’ve had a lot of emotions in the past 24 hours.  It happens when the unexpected happens.  I’ve cried more than I expected, but then I didn’t expect to cry.  I’ve laughed a lot too.  I’ve worried.  I’ve been confused.  I don’t think I’ve been angry, which is good.

Life throws a lot at us.  I’ve had a lot thrown at me lately, which seems okay, because you’re given what you can handle.  So obviously I can handle it.  And I have Husband right by my side, and together we’ve managed to figure it out.  But what if it might be out of our control?

I have a lot of questions I can’t answer today, that no one can answer.  There will be answers, I just have to wait.  Which is difficult.  And I’m not really all that patient.  And I think I might be scared, a little.  If I let myself think.  Which I’m trying not to.

I Don’t Want Them to Cry

Dating.   Relationship.  Boyfriend.  All words as a parent I’m just not that fond of.  And luckily haven’t really had to deal with.  I’ve seen Oldest One’s friends go through relationships and angst, and I’ve even hugged some as they cried because the boy didn’t want to be with them anymore.  Oldest One had a couple of boys hurt her feelings, but she didn’t really date.  Little One has already had a boy make her cry.  I know it is a part of life, but I hate to see my girls cry, especially over a boy who just isn’t worth it.  Yes, that is so parent talk to say that.

Last night I stayed up late to chat with Oldest One. We talked about grades, and her roommate, and an upcoming sorority event she is really excited about.  And then she mentioned B.  It’s not the first time I’ve heard about him, but I wasn’t too excited to hear he was back, because from a parental view he is nothing but bad news.

She met B along with a bunch of other kids in the dorm when school started. She thought he was cute, and he seemed to like her.  Then he started to spend time with another girl in the dorm, G.  But G said she wasn’t spending time with him, he said he wasn’t spending time with her, but yet there they were together.  And it seemed they were, from what she heard from others in the dorm, losing their clothes when they were together.  It happens.  Then it turned out B had a girlfriend back home.  Quite the player, at least in my mind.

So Oldest One and I talked about it, after she quit talking to him. We talked about how it was better to find all this out about him early, and about how she wanted someone who would treat her a lot better than that.  Someone who would respect her, and wouldn’t lie about things.  You know, someone decent.  Because there was nothing I heard about this kid that was good.  He’s young, he can do what he wants and say what he wants, just not with my daughter.

But last night she said they are talking, and there were circumstances she didn’t know about. She of course didn’t go into those circumstances with me.  I asked her why she would want to consider being with someone who lied and didn’t respect her, and she went back to these circumstances.  Apparently these circumstances absolve him of all lies and rude behavior.  I said if she wanted to be friends that’s great, be friends with the world.  But don’t date someone who doesn’t respect you and who isn’t nice to you.  I asked her what she would say to someone telling her all of this.  Apparently I overstepped my parental bounds at that point because she got irritated with me and cut that conversation off.  But not before telling me he might be one of our Thanksgiving guests.  Yippee.

I have a lot more I’d like to say to her, but I know I have to let her get hurt if she decides to date him. It’s not like I didn’t have a B in college, I did, and I’m pretty sure he was worse than this guy.  And a whole lot older.  But I remember how much it hurt, and I wasn’t even in love with my B.  But I sure liked him a whole lot, and I was willing to overlook a lot of things I shouldn’t have.  It was a good learning experience, and I know I have to let her have her learning experiences with relationships.

I just don’t want to see her hurt, and upset, and crying. I don’t care that it’s a part of life and growing up and figuring out who you are and what you want in a person.  I want to keep my daughters from getting hurt, which is impossible.  So I’ll do my best, instead, to be there when I’m needed.  I’ll listen when she needs me to, and try to not criticize and put B down.  When things don’t work out, I’ll support her, and send a lot of chocolate.  Most of all, I’ll continue to love her unconditionally.

Teenage Tears

Lately it seems we don’t have a day without a teenage girl crying in the house.  It’s crazy, but I can’t remember the last cry free day we had.  Little One is at that stage where anything can set her off at any time with no warning.  I think Older One is, as she gets closer to leaving, feeling both the excitement and the scariness of living away from us.

Husband is not fond of the crying.  He wants to figure out the problem, give a solution, and have it done.  Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.  The girls might just be having an emotional minute and no amount of problem solving is going to help.  They could be crying because of us, so we can’t offer a solution (some days saying no is a lot harder than others).  Sometimes they don’t even know why they are crying, they just are.

As a teenager I wasn’t known for crying; I was known for never crying.  Looking back that was just weird.  What teenage girl doesn’t cry when a boy hurts her feelings or her parents yell at her?  Me.  My friends would comment on it, and how I never cried, but also how I was never serious and always joking.  I cried for about three minutes the night we graduated, and that was it.  Obviously it was my way of coping, not crying, and also just shoving things away that might bother me.

I do cry these days, which is probably a lot better for me.  I can also shove things away (like my Mom situation) but I usually try to face and talk about issues.  I can be serious, and am actually too serious sometimes.  I still deflect with jokes, especially at work, but I usually do it in situations where keeping it light is the better way to go.

Little One wants to be hugged when she is upset and crying, and Oldest One just wants to be left alone.  So we do both.  And offer ice cream for the harder situations.  Or French fries.  Or both, because nothing helps with crying like ice cream and French fries.  Sometimes it’s hard to know what will help the girls, but I’ve found giving hugs and letting them know they are loved is never wrong.