I’m 17 here. I know because my sweatshirt says 1985. My favorite sweatshirt that I got in Long Beach Island, NJ and some chick stole from my gym locker. I cried.
I am abso-freaking-lutely amazed at what kind of mother I have turned out to be. I mean, I actually have limits on my child. I expect her to do well in school. I abhor it when she is sassy. I am petrified of her drinking at a party but realize this may happen so I tell her if she does drink to be smart and call us before getting in a car. And when I say “smart” I mean think-about- having-one-beer-or-maybe-even-just-a-sip-and-dump-the-rest-out-in-the-bathroom-sink-so-your-friends-don’t-call-you-a-nerd smart.
Am I serious? Who said that? Wait. Let me look in the mirror to make sure that is me talking and not some wack-a-doo who has taken over my body when I wasn’t looking.
Hey man, I may be 47 (cough gag spit) but my brain still feels 16. I often reminisce about my teen years. The friends I had, what we did, how we did them, how I would miss a class here or there. Telling the parents that I went to see “The Karate Kid” when instead I was hanging out at the A&P parking lot downing a Bud Light or three with my gang. Totally rad and bitchin’ fun, man (80’s lingo in case you missed that).
Solo cups also hold Kool-Aid. You know, because that’s what I’m drinking. Wait. How did Kool-Aid get in my beer?
Even with all that, I act like a middle aged tight wad of an old hag. “Mom, I got a 78 on my history test.” “What??? You got what? You’re smarter than that. What’s wrong with you? Why didn’t you study harder?” Really? This coming from the woman who as a sophomore in high school was lucky to score a 65 on a test? Seriously. She doesn’t score that low often. And it’s not even that low. What’s wrong with me?
And drinking? Ha! Beer and Bartles & Jaymes orange wine coolers were my drink of choice when at a party. Yeah, I was not one to go for the cola bar. Unless it was accompanied by Jack.
And a little sass? Hell, I remember an incident when I actually picked up a chair and threw it at my mother. I got kicked out of the house for a night for that one.
When I was 15, I wanted to stay out until the wee hours of the morning and hang out with friends. When my stodgy parents put a curfew of 10pm on me, I pouted and swore that when I grew up and had a daughter she would be able to do whatever the hell she wanted. And I meant it too. “I HATE YOU MOM YOU ARE RUINING MY LIFE!” was my mantra. I flipped her the bird more times than I care to admit behind her back. I did it so much, I’m surprised my finger didn’t actually fly away. Yeah, I was sweet. I drank beer, pretend smoked cigarettes (because although I thought I was a badass, I was part Pollyanna in disguise. Ok, so maybe Pollyanna is pushing it), ran away from home, cut school and got poor grades.
Well guess what? I grew up. I had a daughter. And that daughter is exactly the age I was when I proclaimed to the world that the night could be hers, even if it meant partying with no curfew and having all the beer she wanted at her fingertips.
Guess what else? Even though I feel like I’m still 16 at times, my brain must have matured. Because, yeah right. I don’t think so. Over my dead body. And if I find marijuana in your room, you are grounded for life. And trust me when I tell you, I will never go for that “I’m holding it for a friend” business. I may have bamboozled your grandparents from time to time with that one, but you will not bamboozle me. Also, you will be tested when you get back from the movies. Don’t worry I trust you. Kind of.