Sunday, May 23, 2010

A letter from my teenager...sort of

The following is a letter from my fifteen-year-old daughter to me, written

I'm really glad we just had the chance to spend the whole weekend together, even though I haven't told you. It's been really nice to go away someplace and remind you of the person I really am and always have been.

Remember yesterday morning, when Mom asked me to do my homework, just to get it over with, and I replied, "Mom. I just woke up. My brain's not fully developed"? These statements were each completely true. The only thing is, it's not like I just needed to be awake for a while in order for my brain to kick in. The fact is, this will not happen for a few years, so please be patient... really, really, really patient.

I'm a good kid. You tell me this all the time, but then you yell at me for doing things I don't mean to do, like leaving the front door wide open when I leave for school, or swinging my tennis racket in the house and knocking stuff over, or not refilling the toilet paper.

I'm still naive about a lot. Sure, I'm the size of a larger-than-average woman, but there's tons of stuff I still don't know. That's why, when I took the eye exam at Department of Licensing for my permit, I closed one eye and only read half the letters when I looked into that box. Dad, I'm not stupid; that's the way I've always done it at the doctor. I also wasn't previously aware that you have to be dead for them to use your organs. Come on, otherwise that would've been sick and wrong. I am now an organ donor.

It's nice that you tell me you understand what it's like to be a teenager, and I'm sure you truly believe you do—but you don't. If you did, you would comprehend the fact that texting is of utmost importance to my friends and me. I wish you could fathom the absolute necessity of my being available to provide feedback to my peers, 24/7.

I don't realize it yet, but I'm carefully observing the way you interact with Mom, my sister and me. It's a really good way for me to assess what a healthy male-female relationship involves when I'm ready for it. Oh, I've seen you screw up, many times. But I judge you by how you learn from your mistakes and how you deal with those whom you've hurt in the process. So keep trying, because I'm watching.

Remember, five years ago I was ten, and ten years ago I was five. I'm still a kid, and your more important to me now than you've ever been. I love you.

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