Monday, May 23, 2011

They grow up so fast

In a few hours my "baby" will be a teenager, and I'm feeling a little verklempt all of a sudden.

How did she get to be this big, this old, this... this... this person?

As the spouse said to me this morning, he still remembers massaging my tailbone as I labored for 18 hours (most of them without drugs -- I know: WTF was I thinking?!) trying to get this stubborn little being the f--k out of me as we listened to the Chicago Bulls battle the Indiana Pacers in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. (Was a HUGE Chicago Bulls fan back in the 1990s, when we lived in Chicagoland. And I insisted on watching the game, but the doctor made us shut it off so I would focus more on the bigger picture, pushing. On the positive side, I was spared watching the Bulls lose that game -- and I scored a baby out of the deal.)

Hopefully, over the last dozen plus years the spouse and I have given our daughter a solid foundation to build upon. But I worry about today's teenage girls. There is so much pressure on them -- academically, socially, emotionally. And we can't --and shouldn't -- protect our daughter forever. But still.... (The only thing tougher than being a pre-teen or teenage girl? Being the mother of a pre-teen or teenage girl.)

Which leads me to Britney Spears. (Bear with me here.)

Early this morning I saw a clip of the opening number from last night's 2011 Billboard Music Awards, featuring Rihanna and Britney singing Rihanna's hit song "S&M," and I thought, I wonder what their mothers think? And, How did Britney go from the cute, perky girl next door (if you happened to live in Kentwood, Louisiana) on The Mickey Mouse Club...

to Playboy bunny dominatrix simulating sex on stage in front of millions of people? (Fast forward to 2:45 in the clip if you are interested.)

Yeah, yeah, I know: fame... a broken home... bad decisions... bad managers... surrounding yourself with the wrong people... alcohol... drugs... The spouse and I have nothing to worry about. Stop overreacting, J.! But I do worry. While not every fresh-faced, seemingly innocent kid winds up in rehab or on a reality TV show or pole dancing for extra cash, you never know.

Oh geez. I'm tearing up again. And I gotta get to work. Just do me a favor: tonight, before she goes to bed, give your daughter an extra big hug and tell her you love her.


Anonymous said...

I will give both my girls big hugs tonight -- and I will take the dance poles out of their room. I guess they should find another way to exercise.

Anonymous said...

I have a pal with a 5 year old daughter. She is no longer allowed to watch Disney-too sassy/sexy.

Steven Friedlander said...

Funny, sweet, and nice.

Charlene said...

I think we all survive our raising and our mothers love us no matter what.

Betty Cracker said...

I feel your pain -- my daughter will turn 13 in two months. If you've raised a smart, self-respecting kid who knows you have her back (and I have no doubt you've done just that), that's really all you can do.

Ange said...

Awwww...Somehow a lot of us have managed to muddle through. Although I had to hide my "Rocky Horror Picture Show" DVD a few years back after my youngest went to preschool singing: "Toucha toucha touch me..."

J. said...

@Anonymous #1 @Ange, very funny. :-)

@Steven, thanks.

@Charlene, "survive" being the operative word.

@Betty, I hear you, but it doesn't stop me from feeling helpless (or wanting to run away) sometimes.

I swear when I looked in the mirror this morning I had a thousand more gray hairs than I had a few days ago.