Thursday, June 4, 2009

Love Hurts

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.



the girl said...

You are an amazing mum. Simple as that.

Patty said...

Oh my heart is breaking too now. But I **so** admire your stength to stay true to your word.

(First time to read you blog!)

MiMi said...

Aw, geez, now I wanna cry. I'm SO glad there are moms out there who remember that drama and can help take the hurt away when it happens to their little girls. Poor baby. But, NAUGHTY too! Sneakin' that phone. Shame on her. Good you stuck to your guns, that would have been DIFFICULT!

mama-face said...

OH, yes, this is hard. so hard.

My daughter has her 1st serious love (they both just graduated from H.S.). I love this boy too. (not in the same way; sick). But you know and I know and I bet somewhere deep down they know that at some point there will be a breakup. And I'm already worried about it. You never ever forget your first love. You move on, but there's always a little tiny piece of your heart that carries the memory.

I get the thing about remembering what you went through with old loves. Watching her with her boyfriend brings back sooo many memories. Including the breakups.

Hey, you can thank me later for this uplifting comment.

You are a good mom; you do what is right for her by enforcing the rules and by letting her cry on your lap. So great that she will cry and share her feelings with you.

Anita said...

Tammy, I could have written this post, well maybe not quite so well,but those same scenarios have played out in my house. A parent dishing out angry punishments, a teen breaking one only to lose more privileges, one sister giving the other one up, and a teen daughter crying in my arms when her boyfriend of 18 months broke up with her. Caitie had the big break up in March, it was a nightmare, and I too relived all those teen was painful.
You ARE a wonderful mom, for sticking to your guns, for caring enough to set boundaries and for holding her when her heart is breaking.

Tammy said...

Life is tough at that age. I have a little time before I have to deal with that. Hi from the SITStahood

Brandy said...

I know that must have been tough to stick with the punishment. I know it would have been tough for me, because I remember how you stupid you are when "love" is a factor. Especially puppy love.

Poor kid.

Good thing about puppy love is that it happens all the time so while her heart hurts right now, there's another boy right around the corner to help it heal.

Together We Save said...

Oh that brings tears to my eyes. I have teenagers too. If they could only see the future it would make the present so much easier. Love your blog.

Gibby said...

Oh man, I feel for you! And for your daughter. I am dreading these days. When I was reading the post, halfway through I thought "oh, puppy love, but of course I can't call it that" and then you said pretty much the same thing. It's so hard to watch these kids go through everything that tore us up, but for some reason it hurts worse the second time around.

Good for you and your hubs for sticking to your guns. It'll be worth it in the end.

Jenni Jiggety said...

You have to do what you have to do, mom...but it does suck sometimes, right?

I remember those teen angst days well...SO not looking forward to them here! It is different with boys, right? (Say yes).

linda said...

Oh this made me want to brought back memories of having to deal with all of this only a few short years ago with my daughter. Their hearts are breaking yet you know what the future holds and how they'll get past it. They think they're the only ones that have ever gone through it and that it's the end of the world. I feel so bad for her!

What a sweet mom to console her when you probably really felt like shaking her for being disobedient...a second time! Good for you for sticking to your guns mom!


What a great post. Stopping by from SITS to leave some bloggy love!

Unknown Mami said...

That was a beautiful post. I remember not being allowed to talk to a boy I loved, who had moved far away, because I had abused my phone priviledges. It was heart breaking and devastating and even though my mom had imposed the punishment she still held me while I cried and I had the sense that she understood how painful the seperation was for me. You are an awesome mother.

Dejoni said...

I'm so glad I'm older and I so dread doing this with my two girls. Boys are turds. Period.

WhisperingWriter said...

This made me tear up.

You're doing the right thing.

I am not looking forward to the time when my daughter goes through this.

Housewife Savant said...

Another thought-provoking and heart-wrenching post my dear.
(You'll get kicked out of next year's badmom campout with behavior like this.)

I wouldn't want to live through those years again, for nuthin'.

I'd love to do it all over.


Alex the Girl said...

It is so extremely hard. You've done it, counted to three, and put your foot down, but when she's there crying in your lap and hurting, (and even though it's thirteen in love hurt, it's real, and it does hurt!) you want to just make it go away. It's a hard place for a mom to be in. I could have written this same post many times over.

Pam said...

What a beautiful post. I don't know if I could have been as strong as you were in this situation. I give in WAY too easily. But you absolutely did the right thing. I loved how you said no one was angry, everyone was sad. How heartbreaking. Not only does Love Hurts (as your title states), but Parenting Hurts as well.

Debbie said...

What a wonderful mother you are to stick with the punishment even though you ache in doing it. She will learn so much from you - I sense she will be a fabulous woman just like you.

Shawna said...

Oh Lord, that's a rough situation. :( My heart goes out to both of you!!

We both know everything will be okay, but it might take her a little bit to feel better, so just keep sticking it out m'dear! It'll happen. Just feel glad it's not the heartbreak that came with the end of a long-term, more adult relationship. My momma had to come up a weekend last year and stay with me through midterms when my boyfriend and I broke things off. It was disastrous and took me months to get over. (I got a 2.4 GPA that quarter because I couldn't concentrate on anything but the relationship or lack of.)

Anyway, your post definitely reminded me of my 7th grade relationship with an 8th grade boy back in the day. We liked each other a bit, we "dated", we never kissed (I had a sweet sixteen, imagine!), and then when my dad found out, that was that! I had to break up with poor Charlie through email and I cried the entire time. I cannot imagine how funny that was to an outsider! And today I am so thankful it happened. He was definitely not for me!!!

Shawna's Study Abroad