Monday, May 23, 2011

The Old Ways

As the parent of a child who recently became a teenager, this is undoubtedly a period of immense changes. Immense changes for her and immense changes for me. She is growing up and maturing from a child to a young adult. The old child-like ways are being set aside and new grown-up ways of thinking are taking root. At times I feel like I am watching a metamorphosis from one species to another right before my eyes. For me, I am constantly trying to understand how to interact and relate to my daughter. The rules of the game seem to be constantly shifting. What works today is frowned upon tomorrow and really upsets her next week.

I have noticed just over the past six months that many things that my daughter and I used to do together no longer hold any interest for her. For example, I used to sing to my daughter as she brushed her teeth or she used to love for me to read to her before bed. These activities were staples of our time together. There were also several games that we used to enjoy playing together. Now, she has outgrown these games of youth. Several times recently we have been playing one of our regular games or doing one of our regular activities, and I have had the sense that this would be the last time that we did this. I'm not exactly sure of what tips me off. Perhaps something about her attitude or her approach. These feelings definitely tug at my heart strings.

I had this feeling recently when my daughter and I were playing a game of sword fight that we have played for years. She has a magnet construction kit called "Magnetix". In our game, we would each take a metal pole and hang magnetic links from its end. We would then swing the poles at each other and try to take the magnetic links of the other. The game was over when one of us got all of the pieces or we got tired from laughing and carrying on. As I put the kit in her closet in the evening after I had tucked her in bed, I knew.