They were right. I mean, over the years they said an awful lot, and they were right about more than they were wrong, but they really nailed it. I’m not sure exactly who they are, and neither are you, but you’ve heard from them all your life. But when they said you’ll never known pain, until you see your child suffering, they couldn’t have been more right. Of course, without passing on some kind of wisdom that would have given me the ability to alleviate some of my daughters’ pain, they weren’t being all that helpful.
But they were right all the same. When I was 13, I was fairly certain I knew hurt, anger and disappointment on a more personal level than the 13 year olds around me. Because when you’re 13, you know everything better than anyone else. Now with the little maturity I’ve gained, I’ve learned that everyone has their own bag of problems they carry with them wherever they go. It’s the fact I can’t say or do anything, to pass this wisdom on to my own 13 year old that is currently eating me alive. I feel like I’m a five-star meal for a Burmese python.
I can tell myself that she’s going to be okay. She’s a super bright girl, with a great sense of humor and heart that no snake could ever change. And it’s all true, she is that smart and has a huge heart. The girl that loves art, passed on the opportunity to enroll in the advanced art class, so she could spend one hour a day working as an assistant to the art teacher with her special needs class. I mean, sure I’m bragging, but I’d be an ass to not brag. But knowing she’ll be okay isn’t any help at the moment. Maybe that’s a ‘Me’ problem, but it is what it is.
I’m learning that telling her stories about my own experiences as a sensitive, anxious 13 year old (or 38 year old) only really helps me. Sure, I can commiserate with her, but I still never walked even a step in her shoes and we both know it. So they were wrong. They said the teenage years are the hardest, and 7th grade is the hardest year of your life. But it’s not even close. Seeing your kid go through those years is way harder.
I’m pretty sure I now know exactly how Helen Keller felt before Anne Sullivan came along. I have so much I want to communicate to her, some real wisdom (I think), but the sounds won’t make any sense and the gestures probably just look rude. So if you know a miracle worker…