Unless you were a psych major in college you probably slept through psych 101 like I did. One of the few things I actually remember was that there are different stages in grieving. (I also remember that some guy working on the rail line got a pole stuck in his head and they used him as an experiment for years afterward. Kinda creepy.) I completely forgot about the stages of grief until I heard them this morning. Coming out of the mouth of my teenage daughter E. Just to make sure I wasn’t making things up I went to Wikipedia (where else?) to find the stages of grief. OMG! It was like I was reading the stages of one of our mother-daughter arguments!
Step One. Denial
Mom – You’re grounded.
Daughter – I have plans today.
Step Two. Anger.
Mom- OK, you need to cancel your plans because you are grounded.
Daughter – I didn’t do anything wrong! You can’t do this. I have plans!
Step Three. Bargaining.
Mom – You are grounded because your room was a mess last night and you were supposed to have it cleaned yesterday morning BEFORE you went out with your friends.
Daughter – But it’s clean right now. It is clean now and it will stay clean. I promise!
Step Four. Depression.
Mom – Your daughter is giving me the evil look.
Dad – Yes, yes she is.
Step Five. Acceptance.
Daughter – FINE!
My daughter has a new favorite. Peter Pan. I am guessing that his desire to stay young and childlike is the appeal. Or it could be the bright colored pants which happen to be pretty popular these days. It’s hard to tell what she finds appealing because I’m so old now I can’t even grasp the mind of a teenager.
That’s the thing. I’m so old now that I can’t even grasp the mind of a teenager. That’s sad. Way past sad, actually. I always wanted to be that mom who could really understand her teenage daughter. I figured since I had her when I was so young (only 21) I would be able to be that cool mom. But no one tells you that it is impossible to be that cool mom. Because you either have the mind of a teenager or you don’t. If you don’t there is no way you can understand the teenage mind. It’s like trying to read a foreign language in the dark upside down. Near impossible! Even if you are willing to give it a try because you have nothing to lose.
Now, as I said, there are moms out there that can understand the teenage mind because they never left it behind. They still want to be part of the high school scene. They try to talk about guys with their daughters using the current lingo while wearing the current styles. Not the current adult styles, but the current high school styles. You could probably pull it off if you weren’t a mom. But if you are a mom….
If you are a mom you have to be a mom. You have to be a little more boring or a little more crazy. You have to be the woman who is always prepared for an emergency or the woman who doesn’t care what anyone thinks. Or both. You have to be a role model. You have to be the woman you want your daughter to be in 21 years and not that teenager you wish you were every other Friday night when you are going to bed at 9 pm because there is nothing good on TV and all of your friends are too tired to go out for the night. You have to be cool in your “I’m old and crazy and don’t care anymore” way. You have to be who you really are and be proud of it, but you can’t be that high school girl anymore. You just can’t. My daughter says that’s a little creepy. I think she’s right.
So, I can’t tell you why my daughter likes Peter Pan so much. I have no idea. Teenage thoughts haven’t crossed this mind since I finished college; since I realized that there wasn’t anyone to call to bail me out when I got into trouble. I wish I knew why my daughter likes Peter Pan but I’m not even going to ask because I’m not going to get it. And I’m so happy that I won’t.