To those of you who know, just uttering those seven little words implies a multitude of emotions. I am both happy and terrified that she is growing more independent by the day. The list of things that she needs me to do for her grows smaller every day.
There are days when my mere presence annoys her to no end and she retreats to her room. I get it. I know it’s normal. She’s growing up, or trying to, at least. I have to remind myself that it’s a natural part of life. It’s another stage, another season that we must push through to prepare them to be well-balanced and caring adults. It means I’ve done something right…I think.
Hugs are fewer and far between, cuddles are limited to her discretion, and advice is ONLY asked for when no one else is available. At least that’s what it seems like sometimes.
We’ve managed to bridge one delicate area with a bit of a joke. I still insist on giving her a hug before she leaves the house. I’m discrete; I wouldn’t want any friends to know she actually still likes a hug now and then. Instead, we now give “Uggs” instead of “Hugs.” (Not to be confused with the brand name footwear.) It’s what we call “Hugs” in our house. That way, my delicate feelings aren’t hurt when she rolls her eyes as I put my arms around my baby. And “gimme an ugg” is met with much less resistance than “give your mom a hug.” The eye rolling fits better too.
Secretly, I know, she actually likes the “ugg.” I know this because she doesn’t resist. At church the other day, in broad daylight, in front of actual real people, SHE came up to ME and initiated the “ugg,” still complete with eye roll, but it was definitely an “ugg.” I know an “ugg” when I see one.
It nearly knocked me over, not from the force of the “ugg,” but from the shock and awe of the spectacle. I maintained my Mom Cool as best I could, but inside I was crying crocodile tears of joy.
So I’ll take my “ugg’s” for as long as I can get them. And I know one day in the not so distant future, they’ll turn back into hugs. It’s nice to have those assurances once in a while that you’re doing things right.
How do you maintain the parent-child relationship with your teen and still keep from embarrassing them in front of their friends?