Alright, maybe it isn’t “impending doom”.
Maybe I am overreacting.
Maybe I am being too dramatic. Or pessimistic.
Or maybe, just maybe, I am seeing the truth about what is looming on the horizon.
Or more accurately, REMEMBERING how I was at that age.
Because the changes, they are a happenin’.
It started several months ago when, no matter how low I put the car temperature, Maddie wanted it colder. She is hot. Constantly hot. Until it is so cold that she isn’t hot. But, once you warm the van up enough to feel your fingertips again, she’s complaining it is too hot. Zoe and I will need to wear bundles of clothing to stay comfortable while Maddie wears shorts and t-shirts this winter.
Then last week I noticed something that gave me pause. Maddie showed the universal sign of adolescent girls…
No, not boy band crazies.
No, not insistence on my walking ten paces behind her.
Not locking herself in her room for hours either, although all of those are good guesses.
The universal sign of a girl moving into adolescence is making any dots in writing (ie, the dot on a lower case i) into the shape of a circle.
Oh, come on. If you are a woman over the age of 20 you know you did that at some point in your transition from girl to woman. Every female in America goes through that phase. Some of us even would add a smilie face into those circles-for-dots. It’s OK to admit this. I did it. I remember all of my friends doing it, too. It was around the same time that I started to make the “J” in my name sort of a funky lower case thing, too. The funny thing is that even when I make my signature now, my J is more lower case than upper. Apparently there must still be part of me that operates at the level of a middle schooler.
(That’s enough snickering, family members. I can hear you all the way over here…)
So, the writing is on the wall. My cutie pie first born is about to transition through the time period where even the most angelic of children can turn into the spawn of satan at the blink of an eye.
Again, I speak from the memory of what my poor parents endured during my transition…and I think I was a fairly normal kid. I have a better understanding of why my parents insisted on going to church every week no matter what the weather/situation. They had roughly 18 years of one child or another going through some phase of this transition. They needed that church reinforcement to keep from strangling one or more of us. Again, reasons for immediate Sainthood for them by decree from Rome.
I got another glimpse of my future life yesterday while helping out at the school book fair. I needed to be there in the morning and the afternoon, so I thought I would have lunch with both girls during their lunch periods since that corresponded with my free time. There were points in their lives that the girls would absolutely LIGHT UP when they saw me waiting to eat with them. It would be like a special treat to be pulled over to the tables designated for parent/student lunches. I wouldn’t do it often, which made it even more of a big deal. I loved those times.
So, imagine my surprise when I was waiting for Maddie and she 1) didn’t stop and 2) when I caught up with her she said she would rather just eat at the class table.
Ugh. Rejected by my 5th grader. That inner middle-schooler in me (you know, the one who still signs her name with lower case J’s) was ready to go write in my diary and stare at posters of boy bands… Ok, not really. I did want to blog and listen to NPR, so maybe that’s my new adult version of rejection handling.
Impending doom? Maybe. Changes? No doubt.
I may need to go to church daily.