Late this afternoon, when I picked up my 16-yr-old daughter from a friend's house, I felt like I hadn't seen her for a very long time. In fact, it was more than 24-hours.
Yesterday, she left at noon to spend the night celebrating her girlfriend's birthday. They hung out with friends, went to play Laser Tag, and celebrated with pizza and birthday cake.
"Elizabeth", I said, "It seems like you've been gone for days."
Her quick retort, "Mom, this is what summer is for!"
"But, honey, I've missed you," I replied.
Silence. Absolute silence.
"Is something wrong, Elizabeth?"
"I'm tired; we stayed up all night talking."
Oh, to be 16, again! Totally self-important and full of tomorrows. I say this jokingly; in reality, I wouldn't want to be in the world our kids have to live in today. Things are so complicated. There is so much pressure to perform. So many dangers.
I like that my daughter's summer is full of fun, friends and doing what teens like the very best, "hanging out". It reminds me of my summers when I was her age.
I'm also grateful that, come Monday morning, Elizabeth will be at her part-time job at church where she works with little ones in a day camp. Structure and responsibilty, that's all good, too!
I don't tell her that because, even though she really likes her job, I fear too much encouragement from me would be met with the unending 16-yr-old silence. Deafening silence.
Did I mention I also have a 14-yr-old son?
So, Katy Moms, how are you surviving the summer?
Best wishes, Julie