Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Just trying to Keep Her Seat Belt On

The door slammed loud and hard as she exited the van this morning headed to tennis. Her little sister shouted "Bye Shelby" from the back seat with a bit of shock that her older sister didn't say good bye as she does every morning. This morning Shelby was angry. I was also a bit perturbed. The drama of the morning was just a cherry on top of our week and we've only been back into town two days.

Monday evening after a three hour drive home from JAG's parents I fixed macaroni and cheese (in the blue box...I missed my weekly run to the store before we traveled) for dinner. With just one box I had enough to feed my family and then make a sandwich for myself to eat. Shelby's response when it was time to eat was "I am not hungry" which is understandable since she ate an entire bag of fritos during the drive home. I am fine with her not eating especially if she does not have the physical desire to eat. All was well, but have you ever had one of those moments were you thought, "has my child lost her ever loving mind?"

Well, as I was dishing up the meal my daughter, who I love and adore, walked back into the kitchen and asked, "are you going to save me some?" to which I responded that I hadn't planned on it since she was not hungry. Sound unreasonable to you? Get ready, she rebutted with " oh yes because you don't care if I starve to death. You never want to feed me". Now, this was not said in a funny, haha sort of way. This was a stern direct challenge for me.

The crazy mom in me thought "girl you better get out of my kitchen before I give you something to get attitude about", but I calmly (I believe, you may want to ask JAG) said "go brush your teeth it's time for you to go to bed." That is a move I use often. I normally feed my daughter before she goes to bed, so don't get all bent out of shape, but on many occasions I send her to bed by 8 sometimes 7:30 pm. My hope is that she is just tired and that is why she is acting out of her mind.

On this occasion as we do almost every time Shelby was called back into the kitchen to sit down and discuss her reasons for being disrespectful. If you have ever been a mother of a teenager then you are familiar with the blank look stare that we receive during this time. I try my best to tell her how her actions make me feel even though she clearly tunes most of it out. I don't want to be an over stern parent and I don't believe I am, but at the same time there are a few things that are expected out of Shelby and she knows them by heart.

Shelby is to tell the truth.
Shelby is to be respectful to people especially her parents.
Shelby is to do well in school.

Those are my majors followed by being helpful. Do I even need to mention that I expect Shelby to love God with all her heart? I didn't think so. I think if you know me you know that is a given and I do my best to pray over her and use scripture to guide her.

So, back to this morning. Shelby's anger towards me was caused by this statement "I plan to email all your teachers today to see if you spoke to them about make-up work." You could say, "Well, Dana you are telling her your don't trust her. I'd be angry too" and to that I would say, "yep." Trust is something we are working on and thus the reason Shelby is not to lie is always tops on my expectations.

Am I rambling? I am not meaning to make this entry just a gripe session about Shelby. I did go home and spend my morning emailing all her teachers. I want not only Shelby to know that I will follow-up, but for her teachers to know that Shelby's mom is aware and concerned about her education.

The responses I received saddened me unexpectedly.

Over half of her teachers have responded so far (it's just 1 pm here) and each one said that Shelby was correct, she had no make-up work and thanked me for my concern with her school work.  It was the additional comments that pulled on this mother's heart. First her math teacher said "Shelby is a great student, we are lucky to to have her." To which I sadly thought "just wait until second semester."  Then, I got this response from her science teacher:

I know you think I am nuts for being sad about this, let me explain that I am overjoyed with my daughter. I actually cried after getting the email. The sadness steams from me thinking "what I am going to do with this wayward child?" I believe this morning as I was typing the emails I thought "ok, here we I will wait for the confirmation that is she lying to me again." I have a good child. I have a child that people what to be around or even multiple. What? Where is this child at home? Is this normal teenage angst to challenge your mother every minute, but be a dream to everyone else?

I wish I could take credit and say "yep I'm doing it right because look at what they say", but I've got to give it to God. He is doing the work in her, I'm just along for the roller coaster trying to keep her seat belt on.

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