*18*

“I haven’t given you any trouble for my entire life. When my sisters were on the floor, kicking and screaming, I was quiet. My dad made me his therapist and then vanished. People have been dying left and right and YES I’m angry. I’ll be angry probably forever. You analyze me and blow off my feelings and I can’t take it anymore!”

So said my 18 year old daughter last night during a, ummm, disagreement we were having. This heartfelt rant began when she came slamming into the house after school while yelling at her younger, 15 year old sister yesterday afternoon.

It seems her little sister had gotten on her last nerve with her “Oh, poor me” attitude about the latest cast list for the Spring Show and her place on said list. The little sister’s attitude about her role in the Spring Show has been annoying to say the least and last night I, too, let her have it however, I digress. This post is about the 18 year old and my feelings about our discussion last night.

For those just tuning in, I have three daughters. To say these daughters have been challenging would be like saying 40 hours of labor to pop out a nine-and-a-half pound baby is challenging. It’s an understatement ok? Work with me here…

I’m not exaggerating when I say that my daughters are extremely intelligent, extremely talented and extremely challenging. People often talk about the issues with raising children who have disabilities of some kind. What I’ve learned in my experience with these girls is that there really ought to be some talk about the issues involved with raising “gifted” children as well. I’m proud of my children most definitely. I love them with a ferocious, mother lion kind of love that continues to stun me in it’s intensity even now more than 21 years after giving birth to that nine-and-a-half pound baby mentioned above.

All that said, I’m tired.

I’m tired of questioning everything I do, everything I say and everything I feel about raising and interacting with these young women. I am tired of having discussions I never would have dreamed of having with my mother with these young women. I am tired of doing the best I can do, learning the best I can learn, giving the best I can give and still not having a fucking clue if I am doing anything well enough.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Oh girly… I absolutely relate with this. I said as much to my husband last weekend — that I’m tired of how relentless this is, how completely overwhelming. If I had known how all-consuming and self-doubt-causing this child-raising was going to be, I may have reconsidered. Maybe that’s why no one tells you, eh?

    Still, the fact that you continue to have conversations with your lovely girls, even when it is beyond frustrating to do so, and that you give enough of a damn to muster up concern over whether you have a clue, proves to me that you are still far above standard in your mothering skills.

    Gifted children? Good thing they’ve got a gifted mom! Love you, Twinnie. You’re doing great! Hang in there, sistah — we’re gonna get through these years, and you know what “they” say: someday we’ll look back on these years and miss them. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

    Reply

  2. {{{{{{{{Traci}}}}}}}}

    I SO UNDERSTAND.

    Keep doing the best you can. I think it will end up being good enough. It’s hard, isn’t it? Maybe there should be some special convalescenent home where mothers can go to recover after the youngest leaves the nest. Some place on a beach somewhere. With plenty of therapists and some nice people who serve alcoholic beverages to exhausted women while they lay out on the beach and bury their varicose veins in the sand.

    Reply

  3. I know this may not make sense you at this moment, but tuck it away for a time when it does.

    I’ve raised boys and girls. With boys, you never know where you or they stand! They are “strong and silent,’ even though I tried to raise them differently!! With my girls, I knew what their “issues” were almost all the time. I found that easier to deal with. Yes, they cry, scream, whine, wail, snivel, pout, whimper, sulk, etc., etc. But I usually knew what was going on in their heads, and *that* I could address.

    Be happy that they are bright and have an equally bright and loving mother to put up with them!

    Hugs, dear.

    Reply

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