My mother says I have the children I deserve. She says this a lot, actually. I always tell her the same thing: I love them anyway. It’s true, though, I do deserve them. Let’s talk about the Girlie Bird. She’s the only girl I’ve got, so I don’t know how much of it is being the first born, the first born girl, the only girl, or just A girl, but oh, dear Lord, that one is going to be the death of me. She isn’t the loudest, or the most defiant of my children. She isn’t the most likely to be in trouble at any given moment. But when she IS in trouble and I confront her, or when I have to give her a lecture about something, or if she knows she’s screwed up, I can almost hear her thoughts. I can read on her face exactly what she’s thinking. I am transported back to being the nine-year-old facing my mother.
I was an enigma to my mother, though. She was as confused by me as I am by Middle Bird. So, I’ve already told my mom in person, but let me just put it out there in cyberspace. I’m sorry, Mom. It turns out, it isn’t any easier if you can figure out what the kid is thinking. It’s no less frustrating when she spends the afternoon blowing off her homework to read her current favorite book, or when she tries to explain that she has it all figured out how she can skip piano practice today and still fit six practices in for the week, or even why it’s perfectly reasonable to expect that she should have her dirty clothes from the last three days laying on the floor between the door to her room and the closet. Understanding how she arrived at all these conclusions doesn’t make you want to shake her any less. It turns out, it’s JUST as completely frustrating when she stares at you blankly while you explain her offenses. So, I’m sorry.