Tuesday, May 5, 2009


When the girls were younger, I remember watching a movie that sent chills down my spine. The mere memory of the plot behind the movie induced painful nausea, cold sweats, and small fits of panic each time it resurfaced from the hidden depths of the "in denial" files located in my brain. In the movie, Thirteen, a young girl, Tracy, "A" student, fairly well-behaved, living with her single mom, meets another young girl, Evie, popular, social butterfly, and not so well-behaved. They meet, become friends, and thus enters the down cycle of girl number one; a down cycle that takes her into the world of shop lifting, drugs, sex, and rock and roll. The movie takes on that air of predictability; fighting with mom, doing lots of drugs, having fight with new best friend, so on, and so on until she wakes up and sees the light, but it left me, mother of an about to be thirteen year old girl, in a cold sweat.

Growing up, I was a dabbler of sorts into the world that Tracy played with, although I never reached such high proportions. My mom and I had the typical "ergh, I hate her," kind of relationship, however, never to the point of hitting her, running away, the kind of relationship that went from your mom being the one you went to for everything to being the one person in the world that you hated the most. For one thing, my mom and I were never that close. I imagine having eight children to rear (yes, you rear children, raise corn) kind of stood in the way. But my girls and I had a closer relationship, especially with my oldest (the younger was and is too independent, but we have our own type of closeness). I truly believe the two of them saved me from my trip into cancer hell. They were the anchor I would cling to when night came and the deepest, darkest, depression hovered over me taunting me with death. Because of our fight, I truly believe our mother-daughter bond grew into something more. Not to mention, our single status selves took on the "us against the world" type of mentality giving us a common foe to fight against.

Now do you see why this movie did cast a mighty blow of fear into my trembling heart? Teen One was just entering that leery age of thirteen. We had just married my husband. They had a new dad for the very first time in their lives. We had just moved into a new house, although thankfully, in the same school district. So like Tracy, Teen One was experiencing tumultuous change in her life. Change that made her perfect for the "Evie" invasion. Stop. No. Don't even go there. Fortunately, there was no Evie that entered her life. No Evie for Teen Two either. And although the freshman years were hard for me to endure, my "thirteen" fears didn't come to light. Yes, they both went through the "freshman" year where mom was no longer cool, and bitch (I hate that word, but it seems the best way to describe this time) fights became the everyday norm. Teen One's escape into the freshman world was the hardest thing I've had to endure. It was the year she broke away and became someone new. Fortunately, part of her came back once she was done with her freshman year. It's amazing how different they are when they do come back, though. And then this pass year when Teen Two went through the same experience. They came back from it changed, older, none-the-wiser (do we ever?), but back. I miss them, the old Sephie and the old Cay. They were my bestest friends. Now, they are bestest friends to someone else. Girlfriend to some guy. High school senior. College Graduate. Work force member. Wife. Mother

Growing up is what other people call it. Waiting is what I call it.


  1. that's a really powerful post. I'm glad you made it through even if you only got a part of them back at least there's that.

  2. Alex, I remember feeling much the same way when I saw this movie. I felt it was the extreme version of young teen girls gone bad. My twin girls went to Catholic school through 8th grade, and high school was a huge step, entering the public school. They made a beautiful transition, and we have seen the Evie's but they are not close to anyone like that.
    It's good to know someone like you, who has completely seen the other side. We are still at odds in some ways.............they are 15, but I love them so!

  3. I am crying !! I have boys and it scares me .I miss them everytime they learn new Indepenence.It mostly feels as though my life with my children is like a runaway train .It is hard to hang on when you want to put on the brakes !
    However -
    When I read your comment I feel out of my chair laughing ! Still giggling .To true Alex .

  4. Middle Doll turns 13 on Thursday.
    Thirteen. Ugh.
    She's gonna turn fourteen then too. I know it.
    And fifteen. Fifteen will come.

    Couldn't you post about a shared experience that's painful, but not quite AS? Like episiotomies. THERE'S something that's not touched er, discussed oft enough.

    Thirteen. I know SHE can handle it.
    But what about me Alex?
    What about me?

  5. I definitley have that love-hate relationship with my 16 year old. Not so much with the 14 year old. I will so hold on to the hope that someday she will "come back" to me. Right now it sure doesn't feel like it.

  6. 'Thirteen' scared me a lot, too. But at the time that I saw it, it was still a long way off for my girls. Now one is the dreaded thirteen with the other not far behind her. She has made and will make mistakes and we are definitely working the love/hate thing. I made (and will make) mistakes and made it through. I hope she will too. It's nice to hear that they come back - a little. I miss her.

  7. They do come back, a little, kind of like a visit. Weird analogy, huh? I know she's just out there doing her thing, getting to know her life, making her high school life. Is it odd to feel a bit excluded? Sometimes? I'm good at staying out of the way, but I do miss them. And when they move out and start their own families, I know we will enter an even newer stage. (I'm sure Ms. Savant can give us tips on that relationship...Please!)

    Thanks for the back up, EVERYONE!!!, I thought I was being the overbearing overprotective mom. It's nice to know I'm not the only one.

  8. My mother and I still have a "visit" relationship. It terrifies me to think that's how Lia and I could be...

    You're not alone, although I'm not there yet, all mothers think about and fear what you expressed.

  9. This made me want to cry. Very touching. (sniff, sniff)

  10. I was nice enough to wait until I was 14 to turn horrible. :D Seriously though, I didn't even finish watching thirteen. And I haven't even got kids... Great post!