Thursday, July 23, 2009

My teenager

I call her my woman-child. She's fourteen-going-on-twenty-five-going-on-three. She's fun and infuriating. She's hilarious, spaced out, engaging and completely disengaged. She's my first-born.
When I watch her interact with her peers, it's like watching a nature show on the Discovery Channel. They roam around in a pack like a group of oversized puppies, constantly bumping into each other and giggling maniacally.
Her sense of humor has evolved to the point where she understands subtle inferences and can dish it out as well as take it. On the other hand, she's often incapable of filtering the path between thought and verbalization. As an example, one morning I was talking directly to her about, something, at which time she cut me off mid-sentence. Her eyes glazed over as she interrupted me, saying, "I really love my new haircut." I just looked at her and pretended I hadn't been talking to her mere seconds ago.
This morning, she was highly distracted by a bruised cuticle.
Her world view can be fairly straightforward; she believes that whenever she's circulating in the general public, the general public is watching her, judging her and ridiculing her should she breach her coolness. The other day, we were outside as she left for a friend's house. I attempted to hug her. "Dad, please. It's not like I'm leaving for the army." Oops, sorry for subjecting you to such morbid humiliation.
I've done a little bit of reading on the subject of teenage brains, and I understand that they are, in fact, offline right now. There's so much going on inside her mind and body that she's like a blender filled with the basic ingredients, and everything is still in clumps. I'm hoping by sometime in high school, she'll become that smoothie.
I'm trying to cherish my time with her as much as possible, since in a mere four years, she'll basically be on her own. You always hear people say how fast it all goes, which is hard to fathom as you feed your newborn at three in the morning. But it's true. Sometimes, I can't help but stare at her and remember the tea parties and the T-ball, the timeouts and the million pushes on the swing. And of course, those great haircuts.

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