Teenagers express their “need” for you in extremely subtle ways especially when you compare it to the life or death need of babies or the danger present with toddlers or the working through growing pains of sharing, and early friendships of school age little ones.
Friday night my daughters were getting ready for their school’s Father/Daughter dance. There were more costume changes than a broadway musical. I wanted to be needed but found both of their doors shut. I spoke through the tiny cracks in the doors- “how is it going? Do you need help? Can I get you anything? It was girl fun and I wanted in.
My 14 year old told me she was not going to wear nylons “no one does, mom”. Her legs go on forever and , it is February and to say her dress was abbreviated is an understatement. I insisted.
Insisting is funny because you really have to think on your feet- what is important and what is not, what is guidance and what is not, what is teaching and what is just stating the obvious. Some things are really clear to me but mainly it is MBWA ( Harvard speak for “managing by walking around”). You sniff around and look sideways at them, check for inconsistencies and cross your fingers. You trust your gut and then you second guess it.
Anyway I was stuck and unrelenting on the nylons. It completes the look, darling and besides it is more ladylike and formal for the occasion. She has size 10 feet and I was helping her with the nylons and she went through 5 pairs without flinching. She is a yanker and yanking nylons is never good.
She finally wore the last pair we had even though she put a small run in those as well.
When she returned home the second thing after “did you have fun?” was I grabbed her leg.
Just what I thought.
Dictators the world over are reluctantly relinquishing power.