When I meet the mom of a thirteen year old, I am immediately compassionate.
I look back on my own journey and think of how hard I was on my mom around the age of thirteen. I remember it was hard, but I also remember lots of good things as well.
My parents were not big disciplinarians. I had a lot of choice growing up, and it worked for me and for my brother. But there were some real teaching times in the choosing.
In seventh grade my friends were headed to the movies. I had never had restrictions about going out, so I just assumed that I would go to. I was a little surprised when my Mom asked what movie we were headed to . . . and when I told her I assumed she had never heard of it and would let me go.
Instead she asked me what I knew about the movie.
“Not much.” I said, thinking the discussion would be over.
“Then let’s look it up,” she said.
I had no idea you could find movie reviews in the New Yorker Magazine that sat on our coffee table.
She sat down and had me look it up and read her the review.
It was mortifying. And then she asked me, do you think I should let you go?
And I knew I wasn’t going to be going to that movie. And I am to this day so grateful that I did not go.
My mother’s lesson to a thirteen year old girl is now my own goal as I walk beside a teen.
I want to help her to make the choices, answer her questions with questions and celebrate when she chooses well.
It is a good life lesson and one that I am getting to practice.
Grateful for the lesson and the opportunity.