A Brave New World

B&W photograph Pasadena girl in profile

Adolescence has hit our house hard. I have several reminders I say to myself over and over:
don’t take it personally,
don’t engage,
choose your battles,
remember that her brain is not fully developed yet,
murder is a crime.

It’s like that Twilight Zone episode with Billy Mumy who has special powers and can wish you into a cornfield if you displease him. What is going to set her off today – is it saying Hello? Is it walking into the room? At times it’s like my husband and I are tiptoeing around and thinking, “Please don’t turn me into a jack-in-the-box.”

What I love most about parenting is the work that it requires you to do on yourself. It’s really not about our children, it’s about how we react to them. As an introvert, navel-gazing and self-absorption and an obsession with “why did I do that?” are second nature to me. Parenting brings the issues to the forefront and I love wrestling with the big questions.

I take my soft moments with her as they come: watching Lost together, walking around Old Town and eating fudge, tickling her back while we sit on the sofa, discussing David Tennant versus Matt Smith. We are raising her with all the freedom and support that we can muster, so now I have to give her the benefit of the doubt and trust in all of us.


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