the other end of the pen

Behind the stories in The Fraser Canyon Express

Parenting a potential “Mean Girl”

First off I just need to set something straight; despite the title, my daughter is not a mean girl.  She is a wonderful young woman who actually makes me weep with pride at times.  However, she is 16 and mean goes with the territory.  Amazingly, her friends are just like in the movies, weird but true! They sneer at girls who are different, they roll their eyes and say “whatever”  or “duh!”to everything I might say. I can’t really say with any accuracy how my Finnish foster mother would have reacted to me saying “duh!” to her inquiries into my planned activities for the evening, but I feel quite confident that it would not have been pleasant.  Once, I said “Whoa, awesome man” and I was mocked and mimicked at every dinner party to follow for about 5 years thereafter.   Oh yes, I was 16 once, long ago and I remember how it was with the cliques of girls; The rich popular girls who were beautiful, nasty and exclusive and the common girls who stuck together like burdock to bluejean, just as mean as the rich girls to the other girls not like themselves.  But I am proud to tell  you that my daughter is neither,  she seeks out diversity, she is intrigued by others with interesting accents, or beautiful dark skin or a freaky fashion sense.  She is looking forward to getting out on her own and seeing the world.  She loves to explore other culture’s art, and music and experiment with food from other countries.  She is going to be an amazing woman.  How did this happen I wonder  sometimes , with all of her peers pressuring her to be just like “something”. 

I always kept her close to me and when times got tough and she fought and raged against me, I held her even closer and stuck to my guns.  I made sure that we were stuck together just the two of us for long drives through the canyon, I learned how to remain silent while she struggled through learning moments, only adding my two cents when asked .  I am her friend, and always her mother, I will never allow that line to become blurred.  She is my first born.  I always tell her she taught me what true love is. It is a journey we are taking together and I’m learning as much as she is, but if you see her- don’t tell her I said that, she thinks I know everything.    

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