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.