Tuesday, July 2, 2013

For the Pedestrians and Coffee Drinkers on Wellington Street: An Apology, An Explanation

Last week we had a particularly bad morning—Jessie and I. I think the pedestrians and coffee drinkers on Wellington Street—who witnessed a car suddenly swerving to the curb and braking and a young legging-clad woman jumping out, yelling in furious anger and then slamming the door shut—might agree. So might those inside the trendy stores who just may have seen the rock-clench of my jaw and the full-body energy stomp executed by Jessie on her way to rehearsal. Where I had “kindly” driven her, as a favour, in an effort to get her to rehearsal on time in a rainstorm.  

I am learning that you must NEVER, EVER do a favour to an adolescent-brained being. Or at least only deliver the favour with the understanding that it will immediately and forever more be held against you in some Freudian warp that has morphed you into an evil car-driving, dinner-making, message-taking, cell-phone-bill-paying necromancer whose only intention is to entrap the adolescent-brained being forever in some hell that resembles, uh, let’s see, a house with people who love you and feed you and drive you places and ask you every now and then to do your laundry.

Okay. I am not being totally honest here. It’s true; I did drive Jessie when she usually takes the bus. But I think I also took advantage of the captive audience bit and may have nagged her. About getting to bed on time (so she would wake up on time and get to the bus on time), or about writing things down so she doesn’t forget them, or about being responsible, or about how if she doesn’t get her act together the only place she might be able to move out to is a GROUP HOME. . . and well, that’s probably how it went.

So when she told me that I wasn’t the boss of her and that she could do whatever she wanted and I should just deal with it, I may have pulled over to the curb a bit too quickly. Where I told her, calmly, to get out of the car. (I did check to make sure that we were close to the dance studio and that she could find her way there.) Where she heard that very dangerous calm tone and knew to step out. Where she had impeccable timing that allowed her to yell angrily at the top of her lungs “I LOVE YOU. SO THERE!!” just as she slammed to door shut. Where the pedestrians and coffee drinkers on Wellington Street (referred to at the beginning) got their mid-day entertainment.


Three blocks up the road, my cell phone binged with a text message. Jessie, as always, had the final word:


Notice how she was able to cap "NOT," just to make sure she was being clear.

13 comments:

Ginger Stickney said...

Oh so like the fights I had with my mom at this age:) My oldest is now 13, and we are ALREADY starting to have these kinds of conversations:P Loved her last word too.

Cindy said...

Oh, that text!!! :)

This brought back so many memories. Beth and I, yelling, slamming, stomping. I remember 'nagging' to a captive audience once or twice myself. I had forgotten. Things are so much better now and I'm grateful to be past all that.

David Scrimshaw said...

I'm sure your therapist is too busy to follow your blog.

Becca said...

This little view into a typical spat between you and your daughter makes me happy beyond words. I love hearing the day-to-day, seeing you threaten group homes (LOL!) and Jessie's brilliant after-thought text. Omg, thanks for the best start to my morning today! You paint a very vivid picture here. :-)

Becca said...

This description of a typical spat between you and Jessie is the BEST start to my morning! From the threats of group homes (*snort*) to the angry-love to her brilliant after-thought text...omg, thanks for the laugh and the vividly-painted picture. Loved this beyond words. :-)

Nan said...

Thank you all for letting me know that I can bring laughter into your life through MY PAIN! (Ha!). Yes, it is also good to be reminded that I probably did something similar to my mom (thanks Ginger)or that others have lived (yes lived! and got through to the other side) through it (thanks Cindy). And David ...HA! yup. just that.

Wish I could figure out a way to answer each of you individually after your comments, but this is the best I can do. thanks for reading!

Nan said...

p.s. Becca, glad the group home threat made you snort! Makes me feel a bit better. I am a nasty piece for sure.

goldenleaves said...

I LOVE this post. When I first got Lauren's diagnosis I had a well meaning friend say something along the lines of me being "lucky" to avoid the typical mother-teenage daughter struggles. I was devastated to think that would be the case! (I reserve the right to revoke that thought when she actually becames a moody teenager)!

Extranjera said...

Will you tell your therapist? I would. Just to get the last word. But that's the kind of a loving and mature parent I am...

Nan said...

Right to revoke granted! So glad I've made the future look, well ... typical! YOu are going to have such FUN with Lauren! Look forward to following your adventures!

Nan said...

Extranjera: So glad to be in the company of loving and mature parents! and yes, I did tell my therapist, as I explained to Jessie, what I tell my therapist is private and I can tell my therapist whatever I want, as can she hers when she gets one sometime in the future, as I am sure we have scarred her enough to warrant therapy in some form or another. We just hope its not too expensive!

Stephanie said...

Fabulous!

Michelle said...

Ok count me among the ones who had to laugh at this post. I just had to read it to my hubby too and he chuckled as well :)