She’s been telling me this all along. I just didn’t believe it. My thirteen-year-old daughter is perfect.
Today we went to the pediatrician for her annual exam. I hold enormous respect for Julia’s doctor; a bright, personable, professional and compassionate practitioner. But hearing her say those words to me, after Julia’s first ‘teen’ appointment (when you have to leave the room for the exam so they can talk), hit me like pie plate full of shaving cream.
I mean, yes, she’s pretty awesome. Our girl is an honors student, a star athlete, a great alto, tall, blonde, blue-eyed and can be both compassionate and funny simultaneously. She’s been handed some significant gifts, it’s true. But perfect? Really? How did she fool her into that one? Silly doctor.
Of course I sat outside the examining room, straining to hear things like – my mother is a psychopath, or – they beat me, starve me and burn all of my clothes at least once a week. I waited anxiously at the door dreading that my daughter was doing something that I didn’t know about, and that she didn’t want me to know about. Boys? Drugs? Alcohol?
It all seems to be starting now. She often tells me about kids her age who are experimenting with sex, or who are trying out for the role of town skank. Kids at this age are testing the waters and have boundless energy to burn. These same little babies who might have played on a sports team with her, or sat in the backseat of our car to get a ride home. How could their world of promiscuity, ignorance and rebellion be even close to my girl’s?