[flight] n.1. the act, manner, or power of flying. 2. swift movement, transition, or progression: the flight of time. 3. a soaring above or transcending ordinary bounds 4. an imaginative, or unrestrained exercise or display
Hit singing-sensation Taylor Swift is on the charts and on magazine covers as the newest girl-next-door. She’s pretty, sweet and successful and says all the right things at all the right times as far as the media goes…I like her songs. I like the “idea” of her…and when I first heard her song “Fifteen” I thought she had really hit the nail-on-the-head with her writing…
You see, my daughter is fifteen. And a freshman in high school, just like in the song. And this week, she’s been dealing with her first broken heart, just like in the song. It breaks my heart on so many levels…Usually, I like to write about things, people and moments in my life with humor. I’m finding that a challenge for “this” life-moment; the ferocious-protect-your-child-mother-in- me is rearing her powerful (ugly/beautiful) head! A little background: My daughter and I don’t always see eye-to-eye. More accurately, we butt heads A LOT! Perhaps we are too much alike; then again, maybe not. She has her “head on” much straighter than I did at her age. (That’s another blog post that will most likely go unwritten…) Most of the time, we drive each other crazy. And she’s a Daddy’s Girl, which often just antagonizes OUR relationship. She’s a smart, ambitious, likable young lady with big goals and SO many things in her “assets” column. When it comes down to it: she really is an amazing young woman. But don’t tell her I said that…(Don’t be alarmed: I do tell her that…but in principle, don’t tell her I said that!
Before the school year even started, she joined the high school cheer and stunt squad and loves it. (I had full-fledged nightmares about what would be expected of me as a “cheer mom.” I don’t exactly fit that “profile,” you could say…) She’s pretty much a straight-A student. She’s popular, funny and charming. She had a wonderful, handsome young man as her boyfriend; her first “love.” Back to Cheerleading: unfortunately, she’s suffered a couple of injuries which have sidelined this determined, passionate young woman much of the season. She recovered from the first injury and returned to her chosen sport with her elbow and enthusiasm intact. Not too long after that, she was injured again: dropped from about six or seven feet above the ground. (On her head, by the way.) At the time, it seemed she was just kind of “roughed up” with a sore neck and a mild concussion. That was January 18. I wasn’t even told about the accident until late in the evening on January 19.
Today is March 10, and Audrey is still struggling with recovery from a “TBI” (Traumatic Brain Injury)–a fancy name for a bad bump on the head. The injury to the muscles in her neck area (the trapezium) is not healing either. She’s struggling with headaches, muscle pain, vision impairment and fatigue, to name a few things. We still don’t have any answers as to why she’s not recovering faster, or what is even going on to cause the vision problems. She gets dizzy when she stands up, sometimes “blacking out” for a second or two. It’s frustrating and tiring for everyone involved. It’s impacted her daily activities, her schooling, her upcoming driving and her social life. I feel horrible for her. The restrictions she’s had on her activities felt more like a punishment to her than if she was grounded. “No texting, no computer, no recreational reading; nothing that “taxes” her brain.” She was in a neck collar for about a month to help with the muscles in her neck; it didn’t work. Fortunately, last Friday they took her out of that. We were told that she could resume activities like FaceBook and reading “as tolerated.” Yippee! Hope!?
Now don’t get me wrong: Audrey is a really good kid. But she’s fifteen, and sometimes makes “15-year-old” choices. She and her boyfriend made a whopper about a week-and-a-half ago that wound them both up grounded and in a “cooling off” period. Our rules: “NO riding around in cars with boys. Ever. You’re fifteen. NO leaving the house if your parents aren’t home. Particularly not to be with aforementioned handsome 16-year-old boy…” Suffice it to say, there were some broken rules and some consequences in our home…And then, to make a long story a little-less-long (and incriminating) the handsome-young-wonderful 16-year-old boy broke it off. About 48 hours after declarations of love and oaths of honor and respect. I liked him before he broke up with her and, even though I’m ticked at how he did it, I still find him to be a pretty good kid. But he hurt my daughter, and so he’s on my “list” for now. The timing was terrible.
Not that breaking up with your first love is ever going to have “good” timing…but sheesh! Hearing her sobbing, seeing her “ugly crying” (yup. We’ve all been there, friends…), seeing her reaction to just about every song on the radio…Aauugghhhhhh! Trying to comfort her in an “un-comfortable” state…I’m overwhelmed by her grief, and my own, from this whole few months. I hurt for the way she is hurting now. I hurt from the memory of being fifteen with my own broken heart. I’m angry and hurt and concerned and overwhelmed at all that has been placed on her plate at this moment in time. I’m tired of people telling me “how resilient” young people are. I’m afraid of how this will impact her future. It hurts; we walk through it.
Audrey and I went for one of our “Pie Dates” last night. As usual, we had a great conversation. If you have an adolescent (or any other age) child, I cannot recommend strongly enough the power of Pie Dates. Things we could never begin to discuss at home flow easily over pieces of cake and pie; if you haven’t tried it, YOU MUST! The Power of Pie Dates is nothing short of miraculous! How do I begin to express my gratitude for these special times with her? I want to protect her, to nudge her on and to celebrate her all while smackin’ her upside the head for being…hmmm, 15!? sigh….We discussed relationships, sex, song lyrics and the power they hold over us, as well as MY adolescent “history.” (Really!? Was that necessary!?) We talked of pies, cakes and potential opportunities for that first job. First love, first jobs…mistakes, celebrations, plans, Plan B’s…We should have eaten a lot more pie last night, now that I think about it…