Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Life Lessons from Teenzilla

Awww.....look at her
When most people hear the word "teenager" they shudder and look over their shoulder.  It is a scary time to be a parent- and I am on round 2. The first round was a boy- and it was no joy ride that's for sure.

This round it's my daughter...who I have lovingly nicknamed Teenzilla.   She is my "Mini Me" in every aspect. From her too loud, rough sounding voice to her love of Journey songs - she is what every mom wants- a replica of themselves- without the flaws we have of course. She has inherited her dad's dry sense of humor and off the cuff smart assery, which makes her an absolute riot.

When she was little- I dressed her in frilly dresses, bows and Mary Janes.  I never took her anywhere that she wasn't perfectly adorable, perfect hair never a dirty face. Oh, except when her dad got her ready and then she was a disaster- but I always had an emergency hairbrush and I could work miracles on "Daddy hair".

Through elementary school I tried to point her in the direction I wanted her to go.  She was a Brownie, a Girl Scout,played soccer and basketball  and then when she was old enough I got her in to cheer.... my crowning achievement.  Following in her mom's footsteps- a cheerleader!! My 30 something overweight ass could relive my glory days through my adorable little Pee-Wee cheerleader! Oh, and I did- and have continued to do so for the last 4 years.

She was (and is!) effortlessly smart- great grades, teachers loved her, lots of friends....everything I wanted my daughter to be. Of course it was also everything I wanted my oldest son to be as well- and not only did he veer off the beaten path- he just made roads of his own. Mind you- I am proud of his accomplishments- but truth be told- Teenzilla was my "second chance", my way of not making the same mistakes as a parent that I felt I made with my oldest- sick and wrong I know...but hey- there are plenty worse jackasses out there.

Now my adorable girl child is turning into her own woman. Yes, woman. She grew several inches, sprouted boobs and LOUD opinions. Middle school cliques formed all around her and she could give two shits. She had her very small group of friends - which worries me sometimes- from Miss Popular to Miss Understood in the course of 2 years- where was all my hard working going to?

Born to cheer?
She is fearless, outspoken, and will stick up for friends and mere acquaintances  if they are being picked on or treated at all unfairly in her eyes.  She is a great sister to  the Boy, loves to bake, loves all forms of music, from the Beatles to Green Day and everything in between.  She is sassy, sweet and just flat out amazing.

My one regret? She HATES cheerleading- and what makes that worse is she is so damn good at it!! But- I am the cheerleader and my glory days are wayyyyyy behind me. And frankly- the more I am around the group of teenage girls that make up her cheer squad- I really can't blame her for not wanting any part of them. What a bunch of hormonal bitches they are!

I am proud of who she is becoming. It may not be the exact path I had set out for her- but she has taken my ideas and added her own and I think she is going to be just fine.

The lessons she is teaching me are invaluable... and if she had continued on my road to what I though she needed to be- well- she wouldn't be the utterly unique individual she is today- and we would both be unhappy.

Last night as we belted out a very off tune version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" I was again reminded of how lucky and GRATEFUL I am that she is who she is.  And that my "Teenzilla" will still hug and kiss me as she heads out the door to school, or to hang out with friends. Damn- if you are that lucky- then you are lucky enough.