My Tween-her identity has been hidden to protect her from Tween Trauma.
Hi, my name is Janine.
I am the mother...of a Tween-Girl.
As I dropped my 12 year old off at her summer camp the other day, I knew she was not happy to go. I said, "Have a good day!" with a motherly smile and hint of sarcasm underneath to match the look on her face, and her response was a disgruntled "ah ha" as she walked off. In that moment, aside from me realizing I may need to find her another summer camp, the thought went through my mind, "Did I act this way when I was her age?” and pause “Hmm."
It then occurred to me that I barely remember anything about being a "Tween". You know, that age from 10 to 12 when you are no longer the "baby" but not officially a teenager yet. All I can figure is that it MUST BE from giving birth to my Tween that erased my memory of that time in life- along with many other things that giving birth has done, but that is another story for another time.
Anyway, I realize that it is a blessing to not remember certain moments in life-we have all had a time like that! But, from observing my daughter go through Tweenhood, I get the feeling that Karma is coming around. (God bless my parents; I'm sure if I asked, the stories they would tell would seem eerily similar to my current situation.) All I can recall is sleeping a lot, being grumpy, snappy at anything, and LORD! BOSSING my baby brother around-but that was also just part of me being the older sibling.
It turns out, to watch Tweenhood through the perspective of a parent’s eye, is a whole new life experience.
Typical adults will re-educate themselves by reading books, articles, or have conversations with other empathetic parents. Well, I have the best intentions. But have I taken the time to do any of that? Unfortunately, no I have not.
Just give me another page and I can come up with every excuse from lack of time to just not having enough energy to dedicate to figuring this out, ex. did I MENTION I have 3 kids? So with the knowledge that I accept my parenting "falter" in this area, I figure my daughter will be my tough lesson learned then by the time my 2nd daughter (who is 8) is a Tween- I might get the hang of it by then.
During this time of transition I pledge to do my best to be sympathetic to my daughter and her pleas of needing to VENT, CRY for NO reason, SNAPPY comments, LOOKS that I KNOW she was not aiming at ME! And her most uncontrollable FRUSTRATION- at just the SIGHT of her siblings (ages 8 and 10).
Though the buildup of the year until "mother nature" came to permanently visit our home had its own challenges, the advantage to that time was she was still so naive and “my baby.” Now that we are fully emerged in Tweenhood, I have watched the jump from goofiness, no cares in the world, and disliking BOYS to being ALL ABOUT boys, boys, boys, boys, and boys (particularly the British boy band ones), fashion, her looks, and her being so annoyed by her siblings-I guess I still hold hope that one will get better?!
And poor dad, he has no clue what has happened to his baby girl. This is the first point where reality of having a girl really sets in. Having to embrace the fact that the little girl that melted his heart with her big eyes and pouty lip, that he would do anything for, now has a very vocal opinion on life and BOYS is a very tough transition. On many occasions, dad has had to be reminded that the sleeping and laziness is due to the Tween changes and "mother nature".
I have even caught myself saying, "Give her a pass this week! She needs a "couple days". Get it?" And if he had any thought that an adult woman was tough to figure out, hold on because he has 2 girls!
Patience, being as understanding as possible, and hugging or smiling at her when she wants neither have helped to break through the ice. Also, in my daughters case-just listening to her so she feels heard are the only things I have seen so far to get through this time.
No, wait! - MIDOL. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THANK YOU for giving us Midol. It eases ALL of OUR pains.
As we go through this moment in time, I have many moments where I just sit, and watch, my 12 year old. The beauty of her figuring out who she is and the growth from my little girl to a lady is truly remarkable.
The fact I came to remember is that it truly is a gift to be able to bring another human being into this world or, by adoption, be raising another human being. God has entrusted us with teaching, molding, defending, respecting, honoring, and preparing, for a challenging world, this soul for a period of hopefully 18 years. Out of your full potential of 100 years- you will spend only 18, less than 20% preparing another being to affect this world for the next potential 80 years. That is truly an honor.
This soul entrusted YOU to prepare them for this Earthly plane. What an honor! EVERYONE, I repeat EVERYONE, wants to be LOVED. And no matter whom you are, to know this soul trusts you and loved your soul enough to ask you to raise them is AMAZING!
I am honored my children chose me to be their mother. I will make mistakes and everyday won’t be roses, but I will try each day to do my best and know I gave them my all.
Much Love and Understanding.