Molly has been 13 for a little over a month….and I have to admit, I ain’t loving it! My gorgeous, intelligent and often goofy first born has gone from a little bundle of big-eyed, curly haired sunshine to a young, female version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde…complete with wild mood swings!
She is now interested more in boys and coupled with her hormones to deal with, my ability to talk to her about stuff is becoming increasingly challenging. It is also now “uncool” for her to show outward signs of affection towards me for fear that her friends might see. So, when I drop her off a school in the morning now, there is no kiss…just a simple “see ya”. Putting my arm around her when we walk or holding hands seems to have gone out of her repertoire and as an aspiring “Enlightened Male”, it pisses me off!!
I love Molly but I am starting to feel like a bit of an outsider to her and her world. I know that this kind of behavior is normal for a teenaged girl. But, I am no normal daddy…afterall, I am an Enlightened Male!! Surely there has to be a way inside!!
Recently, a neighbor was kind enough to pass along some freebie basketball tickets and since Molly is on her school basketball team and has taken a real shining to it, I thought this might be a great opportunity for us to “bond”. While I am not a huge sport fan, I didn’t care; it would be a chance for she and I to have some “Molly-Daddy” time.
We spent the whole time just gabbing, people watching, talking basketball – pretending to know what we were talking about and being goofy. When it comes to my children’s goof gene, they get it from me…guilty as charged!
We shared french fries, ate M&M’s and laughed at all the same things. It was great. But still, it was obvious that certain topics were off limits.
It never used to be that way. We used to talk about everything…but “everything” to a 5 or 6 year old isn’t the same as “everything” to a 13 year old. Molly is growing up.
The feelings I have about this subject matter are intense and highly emotional. Our relationship isn’t any worse, its just evolving. My frustration sometimes just makes me realize how incredibly precious each and every moment is with our children because how fast time flies. When she was still a baby, going through colic, learning to walk, toilet training and all of that stuff, I would often imagine what it would be like to be finally rid of all of those obligations and looked forward to when she as a bit older…to share feelings and thoughts with her. But now here we are and I long for those earlier days.
I am not giving up…I refuse to throw in the towel. I will do whatever it takes to ensure that I am apart of her life. I am her dad and she is my daughter and I will work as hard as is needed to make sure that this relationship is solid. This is the promise I have made to myself.