Living and worrying through my girls’ experiences and traumas

I was reading an interesting post tonight. It resonated because I’d felt the same way many times before. I started to write a comment, but decided to make it a stand-alone post instead….

My girls are 13, 15, and 18. And it doesn’t get better when their friends abandon them.

All those hard times we had growing up, the kids that let us down, the ones that told our Big Secret to everyone, the groups that banished us because we weren’t cool enough, the equally young partners that abandoned us for the promise of someone else (that immediately failed) … we re-live some of our dark times through our growing kids.

We also re-live with adult eyes their successes, their joys, their pride in achievement, their moments of unadulterated happiness! For example, my youngest, Charlotte, came home today with some good news about her quarterly performance. Her sparkling eyes made every problem I’ve got disappear as I reflected in her joie de vivre. Time stood still as she danced around the kitchen. I will never ever forget how Brigitte’s face lit up with delight when she had her 15 seconds of fame by being featured on the local news in advance of a snowstorm. These are my special memories, the ones I will treasure as I get old and frail.

I remain ever amazed at how some kids have very stable friendships but many shift alliances with the tide, drifting back and forth among a core group. Sometimes a pair of girls stay friends all the way through school, more often they shuffle themselves around constantly, with the ‘rougher’ kids getting edged out over time. The central group seems to become stronger and nicer and more ‘acceptable.’ I enjoy seeing the parties where they all come together, the chance meetings in shopping malls or on walks where they beam ear-to-ear and chat like they had 25 years of gossip to catch up on.

Eventually I realized I’m only skimming the surface, seeing the ducks on the water. Beyond what I can see, under the water, Facebook and texting and e-mails and online chats are reworking bonds and alliances, and I remember how pathetically simple life was back when I was a kid. (And how dating was much simpler too. Oh…darn.)


About Single Dad

I married young. Now, after more than 20 years of marriage, 3 wonderful daughters, and many ups and downs, my wife has decided the marriage is over. The "About Me" and "My Background" pages on my blog have more details.
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3 Responses to Living and worrying through my girls’ experiences and traumas

  1. mysterycoach says:

    You totally nailed how I feel as my daughter grows up. I relive each year she changes and what she goes through it revives some old thought of my own. She graduated from 8th grade today … I’m like my god, where does the time go? I don’t know… but I remember so many things I’ve been through… thank god I remember to tell her about the things my parents didn’t and thank god she’s fiesty like me… well, she’s a softie really, like me too but I try and teach her from my mistakes without freaking out.

    Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I hold my breath and hope to god what I’m saying is sinking in. 🙂

    • I felt the “re-living” thing most of all when the girls were very young and started school. I’ve gotten more used to it over the years, but my heart still bleeds for them when a boyfriend has dumped one of them and they’re sobbing on their bed. Poor things…

      Whether you succeed or not, it might be years before you know. There’s a thought for you to sleep on…

      • mysterycoach says:

        I see some things now that she does that I know come straight from me… she’s fiesty my daughter, which I think is a good thing. She’s also VERY sensitive as well… I distinctly remember her crying over a boy and gossiping at school and stuff kids do. It’s totally no fun to relive through her eyes.

        The rest of what I talk to her about is repetitive things about respect and boys and … OMG there is just so much to think about…

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