Girls..no, this isn’t a blog about the popular HBO series GIRLS. It’s about teenage girls, specifically my daughter and all the emotional ground she travelled this past weekend.
Any parent with a 15 year old daughter knows the extreme feelings and mood swings teenagers experience–often within a matter of minutes! My daughter had been looking forward to this past weekend for a long time: she and a good friend had tickets to the Ed Sheeran concert; she participated in a Project Runway type contest at school; and a teen friend she had met online was coming to KC with her dad, specifically for the concert.
There was drama: as parents, we were concerned about Siena meeting up with someone she had met online; she had “no idea what I’m wearing this weekend!”; there was homework and her dog-walking job to fit in..and this stress was all in the days leading up to the weekend. It started well: on Friday night she and her team won the ‘People’s Choice’ award for the fashion show–not the top prize but recognition from the audience. She was thrilled!
Saturday she met her friend Brittany, from Orlando, for the first time. They were so excited and happy, they started crying when they met! We met Brittany’s father, really liked him and soon he was inviting our family to Orlando this summer. The girls spent the day on the Plaza and the evening at our house–talking, laughing, singing and joking around, like they had known each other for years.
Sunday was the big day, the concert date had finally arrived. Brittany and her dad drove by the Midland Theater late morning and found a line forming to wait for entry–at 7pm! In a mad rush, the girls got their tickets and exchanged them for wristbands to ensure a timed entrance with no rushing and crushing of bodies. Still, they showed up early to wait in line before the show, in the cold, even though it wasn’t necessary. Once inside, their home-made poster for Ed was heckled and ripped, the ‘mean girls’ making fun of them. There was no time for Siena to get a souvenir as the lines were too long. The show was ‘fantastic’, as Ed bantered with the crowd and played up to his fans. Siena arrived home late, crying again because she had to say goodbye to Brittany–she said it was like ‘leaving your best friend’. It was a long time before she calmed down enough to get some sleep.
As parents, you try your best to create a stable, secure, loving environment for your kids. There may be occasional disagreements but most of the time, it’s a mellow place here at home. Watching Siena go through the extreme experiences she had this weekend was something I …envied, in a way. I remember the magic thrill of seeing a favorite performer in concert; the mind-meld excitement of meeting a new friend you instantly click with; the shocking realization that some people are so mean; the all-important peer recognition for a school (fashion!!) project you worked on with a team. All the emotions, high, low and in-between, are what make the teenage years so important, so fun. Every day, you step ahead, you stumble, you cry from joy and pain. You grow in all different directions, inside and out. You are loving life, in all its extremes.