Monday, August 17, 2015

"Looks Like We're in for Nasty Weather"

I feel like there should be warning signs outside our door to let Rob know what sort of mood(s) he's walking into. You know, like the kind they put up at the beach to warn you about riptides? For example: Red Flag: wife can't zip her shorts, is in horrible mood and there is furious muttering, Blue Flag: youngest daughter frustrated by homework and there is crying, Orange Flag: oldest daughter planning event with friends and can't get everyone together and there is door slamming.

The estrogen in our house is bouncing all over the place. Right now we have a teenager, a tweenager, and a middle aged women approaching Peri-menopause. Translation: crying, stomping, snarking. Yesterday, I was ready to pull my hair out. It seemed like the only decision either girl could make was to snipe at each other or me. Right now? They are peacefully painting nails, and Lily just offered to let Caroline borrow her phone charger. I've heard life described as a roller coaster. Our life right now? A tsunami!

I understand where both girls are coming from (it is amazing the perspective that comes during a moment of calm). Lily, as I've said before, is in the in between phase. One minute she is playing dolls and watching cartoons, the next minute, she is listening to her i pod and putting on lip gloss (oh, and spilling nail polish on the rug as I type!). All of that internal conflict is bound to cause emotional upheavals.

Caroline is my daughter through and through. She wants everything in her world to be perfect and God help those who mess it up. I clearly remember being 17 and wanting things to be so perfect. I recall melting down in a store because I couldn't find a green prom gown. Caroline is so passionate about everything in her world. Sometimes that passion comes across as blind fury. She is so very excited about her Senior year. She is also so very worried. She second guesses herself around every corner. This week, the focus has been planning for Senior pictures. When I got mine taken, we had one choice: the drape. The hardest choice I had was which necklace to wear. Now? You are sent a glossy pamphlet crowing about how this is "your time!' "create your moment!" "bring props to show your true self!" What the heck!?! Do they know they are sending this to 17 year old girls? It is hard enough for them to decide what to eat for dinner. Now they have to choose their props? Outfits (to include jewelry and shoes)? They are 17, what the hell do they know about their true selves? I can't possibly begin to explain to her that moments aren't created, they just happen. The harder you try to create them, the more messed up they become.

Then there's me. I've heard tweens and teens compared to "terrible twos," but bigger. What the comparison fails to mention is that their mothers also enter a "terrible two" stage. Today, I found myself saying "If it is mine don't touch it because IT. IS. MINE!" Now, this was a legitimate response to going to look for my headphones for the 20th time this summer and `discovering that they had been appropriated by someone else. Nothing is mine anymore! My hairbrush, my scissors, my makeup, my headphones, my charger. I am already stressed and scattered and worried about someday becoming senile. Do you really think never being able to find something where I left it helps?

So the logical conclusion to all of this? Tidal waves of emotions. My best advice to anyone who crosses our paths? Batten down the hatches, grab a life vest, and hang on!

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