Friday, July 1, 2011

Love in a cold climate

You might agree with me: Relationships between parents and their teenage children can be straining at times. Perhaps particularly between mothers and daughters.
Having raised only sons before I am surprised by the fierce opposition by which my 14 year old daughter challenges me. I am slowly getting used to one word answers to well intended questions, or the angry motions with which I am complimented out of her room. That I am in her mind completely lost when it comes to questions of fashion is something I know by now - I am hopelessly old fashioned - and my passions are more then boring. Reading versus texting? Playing piano when I could listen to an Ipod?
I have been reduced to graceful pick ups at midnight and tours to the mall, handing out cash and otherwise staying in the background.
Cooking is not required either, since other mothers provide much more sophisticated meals then I do.
Family time consist mostly of our core family. Mother, father, youngest boy.....and occasional visitors.

After having succumbed to my status I was more then touched, when my girl hopped on the large parental bed a few nights ago, where I was reading late and she suddenly opened up with shining eyes about an older boy who had asked her out...
My husband joined us minutes later and we had the most wonderful, intimate and heartfelt conversation about the pursuits of love. Oh, how I cherish these rare minutes.

Next morning all was obviously forgotten and she left me for the day with a few well placed rude remarks.  Sitting in the car with tears in my eyes I wished her to the furthest camp available. (NOT HAPPENING) Angry and helpless I vowed never to let her bother me again like that!

In the evening I picked her up and she had brought back a small package for me.
Wordlessly she felt I must have forgiven her, but this small gift showed me more then this. She had thought of me, while with her friends out there, perhaps our quarrel must have left her as uncomfortable and sad like me and I realized once more how we both in our mutual disapproval long for each others love.
She had shopped in my favorite place and remembered...

I unwrapped a blue and white mug with my initial and although the handle had not survived the journey (Rather symbolic, don't you think?) I fell in love with it instantly! While we hugged each other I thought how I hold her and her gift close to my heart and it shall remain there, reminding me throughout all these surely to come rough times of our love for each other, our bond.

It takes patience and understanding to deal with a girl smart and independent beyond her years, but it takes unconditional love to endure the sometimes heartless moments between us! 

Slowly growing up and feeling that we can live with each other without loosing independence is something I wish for her to discover. And to still be kind.

Slowly giving her the freedom she so requests and trusting and hoping she will know right from wrong is something I have to learn even faster then I thought.

And in-between there will hopefully be a steady trickle of the things I want her to feel one day all by herself:
Love, compassion and patience!  

I am of course not telling you anything new. 
But I have learned that sharing these difficult moments eases the pressure. Hopefully it makes us feel less lonely in our journey as parents, knowing that we are not alone in our quest for parental skills which might carry us through tough times and good ones alike...

So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen!



  1. Big fat tears rolled right down my cheeks as I read this heart-wrenching and hand wringing post. My twins tell me that luckily I did not have twin girls as my girl is a wild one and not all the wild horses can compare to the mustang that I have. Being a Mother is not for the weak, nor the timid.
    Our rewards however will be forever.
    I know you are a wonderful mother and friend. We must have a walk or coffee....on this glorious day if you have time.

    Can you please write a book for other Mothers....I loved your words.
    I felt the visual connection...the pain, the joy!

  2. Oh little Lotte. You know she is a wonderful girl underneath her surly adolescent exterior! You wrote this so beautifully and reminded me of how terribly I treated my poor mom, and got me thinking of everything I have to look forward to with little Ellie, now only 5!
    Kisses to you all,

  3. This is a heart-wrenching post. I loved your words.

    Year Old Birthday Party Ideas

  4. i do not have a daughter, but I went through some rough times with my own mother during my teenage years, and in my late twenties and thirties found my way back to the immense love I had for her. Ironically, I think we had such a struggle in my teenage years because we were naturally so close and the separation for me to become my own person was difficult for both of us.

  5. Dein Text ist wirklich rührend. Kuss aus Berlin.


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