Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another, unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations." - Anais Nin

In an attempt to better understand Erin and my relationship with her, I am reading "Girl In The Mirror". This opening quote drew me in immediately. Not only does it apply to Erin whose physical self is maturing much more quickly than her mental and emotional self, it applies to me. When Erin is pushing all of my buttons, which she does often, I return to immature me. I rant and rage and consider pulling my hair out while kicking and screaming on the floor.

My friend Jen P. and I have had several conversations about what we expected out of life when we were in our teens. We imagined that at some magical age (like 23)the heavens would open up and reveal the path of least resistance. We, being old and wise by 23, would take that path and live happily ever after. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that life has no rhyme or reason, no well worn path to follow. In my early twenties this caused me much frustration. I imagined that everyone else had it all figured out, and that I alone was in the dark. Now I understand that we all grow unevenly, and that the only way to really know yourself is to tear your way through whatever comes next. Life is beautiful/amazing and dirty/gritty all at the same time. Any path of least resistance that may exist isn't worth taking because when you arrive at the end of it you won't be changed by the experience.

As Erin and I struggle through these teen years, I hope I am able to remind myself that I don't have to have it all figured out and that I am in the process of growing just as much as she is.


R said...

I have so much empathy for teenagers. It was so hard on me that when I see one I just want to hug them and tell them it gets better.

My mom still complains about how awful I was and it still bothers me. I want to say, yes, I was awful, but you were the adult, the full grown person.

This post really helped me see that it was a growing time for her, too.

aola said...

I was so much like Erin when I was that age. I hurt for her.

I look back now and think... "if I had just had someone that cared enough not to give up on me. If I would have just had a Mom who refused to let me go... or at least one who would look at the reality of what I was and where I was headed and given me some real life practical advise (like BC pills).

You are an amazing woman/Mom for loving her the way you do.

Kristen said...

Oh crap, I thought the magic age was 30. I was holding my breath for that. Uh-oh.


You are such a good mom, S.

E. Michelle said...

I love that quote. i always feel like i am such a friggen mess. I feel embarrassed by those who seem to have it more together than i do.