Hello all. So in case you’ve forgotten… I’ll point it out yet again: High School… IT. STINKS. No, we’re not talking dirty socks. We’re not talking orange peels in the bottom of the garbage. We’re not even talking Great Granddad’s Sunday-afternoon-in-the-bathroom. No friends, we’re talking Total Reekage. We’re talking a rotten egg in an old shoe, buried under a chicken coop. (Thank you, Hawkeye Pierce.)
Daughter 1 is having difficulty. She likes a boy. Really likes him. Likes him, likes him. And he doesn’t like her back. Not as more than a friend. She knows this. She’s fighting very hard to accept it. But she’s heartbroken and crushed, and absolutely convinced she will never be loved and will die an old lady with 100 cats.
I’ve tried to encourage her. I’ve tried to tell her that high school boys are clueless, taste-challenged, and intellectually impaired. I’ve tried to tell her that she is an amazing, incredible, wonderful person who would make any boy a wonderful girlfriend. Folks, she’s not having any of it. She’s hurting, and there’s nothing I can do.
So where do we go from here? I know the boy in question, and I’ve considered throwing a blanket over him, tossing him in the trunk of my car, and hauling him hog-tied into the counselor’s office for lengthy psychoanalysis to get to the bottom of “Why don’t you see my daughter for what she is and why don’t you have enough taste to appreciate her wonderful-ness?!” But unfortunately I would end up in trouble, so I scrapped the idea.
On top of the Boy Issue, she also has Girl Issues. By which I mean that her three closest friends have apparently given up on high school boys and have decided to date each other. They have been fighting back and forth, breaking up and getting back together for several months now, drawing Daughter 1 into their drama, and making her vastly uncomfortable, as her religious beliefs state that homosexuality is a sin and her friends are going to hell. Doesn’t make for really comfortable Friday night sleepovers, you know?
Basically, I had forgotten that 16 was so painful. Time and distance have dimmed the memory of the daily pokes, jabs, and slashes at my ego, self-esteem, and heart, so that I can look at those years with a sort of nostalgia and mostly just remember the fun times. But now, when those pokes, jabs, and slashes are aimed at my little girl, it seems like being 16 is a torture like no other. I’m praying that I can say and do the right things for my daughters. Things that will help them keep going, keep plowing on through the Field of Crap that is High School and come out on the other side strong, confident, and convinced of their self worth.
And I’m praying they will learn that they are complete in themselves without a man in their lives. I know what it’s like to be alone. I know it’s not easy, and it’s not comfortable, but I also know the pride that comes from seeing all the bills you are paying every month, by yourself, and the food you bought and paid for, by yourself, and the house you take care of and keep clean, by yourself. It’s a great feeling, no doubt about it.
But yes, for a 16 year old girl who has never had a boyfriend, having someone ask you out for a movie on Friday night would be even better. I acknowledge this piece of truth, and I know that someday the right boy will come along and sweep my daughter off her feet, and when that day comes, I’ll be praying for a whole other list of things!
Until next time,