So my daughter's heart is breaking. And I'm making it worse.
Parenting is so hard.
She likes this boy. They've liked each other for four months. In thirteen year old time, that is an eternity. And, as the song says, they've gotta say good-bye for the summer. Three months. Another eternity. We're traveling, his family is traveling; you don't have much control over things when you're thirteen.
Next year she will remain in Jr. High and he will move on to High School. Their future as a couple is tenuous at best. She is feeling a little desperate.
They planned to spend today together, their last opportunity to spend time together in a while.
She got into an argument with her dad a couple days ago and he said she couldn't see him (among many other punishments he threw at her). We talked and decided he'd acted rashly out of anger, so he told her they could 'renegotiate' her punishment. The other restrictions stood, but we'd let her see the boy today. One of the other restrictions was phone privileges.
Last night the other daughter had a few friends sleeping over. In trouble daughter took advantage of sleepover daughter being distracted by her friends. She snuck into her sister's room, 'borrowed' her phone and called the boy. And she would've gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those pesky kids. They busted her. And when they did, she grabbed her sister's arm and pleaded with her not to tell us. Obviously she did not respect that request. (Good girl.)
The hubs and I were in shock. How could she have done this? Why would she have taken a risk like that when we had just granted a rare reprieve? I think both of us were more disappointed and shocked than we were angry.
We didn't even have to say anything.
She'd tied our hands.
There was nothing anyone could do to make it right.
There would be no seeing of the boy.
No one was angry. Everyone was sad.
She cried in my lap last night. Cried for things she doesn't fully understand yet. Cried for a romance that was dying a natural death. Cried for her lack of judgment. Cried because it's all so confusing and hard. Cried because she knew she'd brought it on herself. Cried the frustrated tears of a woman-child.
I held her, and stroked her hair. I remembered puppy love and how angry I would've been if anyone had called it that. That's a title only earned with hindsight. I remembered, in her tears, the reality of that hurt. That desperate feeling that nothing was ever going to be ok again.
Of course things will be ok again. I know this. She doesn't. Not yet.
She brought back every heartbreak I'd ever experienced. I lived through them all again. Puppy love, young love, not quite the right time yet love. I needed all of that hurt to be able to fully appreciate the goodness and fullness of the real thing when it finally came 'round. Again. More easily experienced through hindsight.
My teen years were hard. Watching her live through hers - so far - seems like that might be harder.
So today? I enforce the punishment. As I must. I enforce the punishment as a necessary part of the mother/daughter dynamic. But my heart breaks as I share her broken heart - a part of the old woman/new woman dynamic.