The doll entered the kitchen looking for a snack and finding a mostly empty pan of brownies. “Wow that didn’t take long…” I commented (about the empty pan) as she grabbed the pan and a butter knife and then sat down next to me at the table. Using the butter knife, she scraped the remaining brownie crumbs to the bottom of the pan and then scooped them into her mouth, before starting a conversation with me. “Mom, did you write about my melt down this morning in your blog?” “No” I replied honestly; though I never promised her I wouldn’t. “When you were my age did you have meltdowns like I did?” She wondered. “I’m sure I did, though I don’t remember them”. “You don’t remember because you’re old or because you don’t want to? She asked with a smirk. “Perks of getting old darlin’, bad and mundane memories fade away over time…” I replied and she smiled.
She continued gathering up crumbs with her fingers to feed into her mouth when she stopped and asked, “Am I a rebel?” “Hmm…I’m not sure what you mean?” I replied wondering where she was headed. “Well I’ve been trying to decide whether to have a teenage rebellion or a mid-life crisis…” At that we both began to laugh. “Seeing as you’re only twelve…” “Going on thirteen…” she interrupted. “…Going on thirteen…you’re too young to have a mid-life crisis.” I replied. “Well then a teenage rebellion it is!” she declared with a smile. “Whatcha gonna rebel against?” I queried. “Um…I don’t know, let me get back to you on that…” she said.
“Mom….could you explain to me the teenage mind?” She asked with a smile. Which brought a quick snark from me in reply, “What mind?” “Bwahahaha! Yes that is a stretch…” She said and we both laughed.
After a few minutes she told me about a couple of friends from school who were fighting. “I guess over the weekend one girl got jealous of another and did some really stupid stuff. So now she’s grounded like forever” She explained. “I’m happy you weren’t around this weekend to get caught up in that drama” I said. “It’s weird mom…why do girls my age act so out of control? I mean is it all hormones?” “Well…” I thought for a moment; hormones are an easy answer…but not the only reason. “Doll, when you’re younger you tend to think in concrete terms: the ball is red. But as you grow older you think in more abstract ways: The red ball can be used to play dodge…” I paused, as I watched her eyes gloss over and the sound of crickets building in the background. “What I mean is, this is a tricky time. Girls are beginning to like boys and vice versa. Some girls may become jealous that a boy they like likes their friend-even though the friend is unaware of the situation…or is aware and enjoys the attention-even though she’s not interested in him. I’m not saying that’s what happened…because thankfully I’m not in their heads…” “Oh that would be scary…” the doll added quickly. “Indeed…but that kind of lunacy is what’s happening in all your adolescent heads these days…”
“When you were my age did you have a group of girls you hung out with?” She asked. “I had my best friend Sally. We did everything together in 7th and 8th grade. Then guess what? When we got to highschool, while we still hung out on weekends, we went off in two different directions. Which is okay. Today she and I aren’t as close as we once were. But we still talk and laugh at the dumb stuff we did back then. Having a group of girls to hang out with is cool. Stick with the group…and believe me…one day you will look back and laugh.”
Our conversation continued until she had eaten all the brownie remnants she could find. “Mom did you and your mom ever have these kind of talks?” She asked. “Yep. My mom would make us both a cup of hot tea and we’d sit at the kitchen table and talk about stuff”. “So this is normal…right?” “Yes…doll quite normal…and…I want you to know that any time you need to talk to me, I’ll always be here–though I may not have an empty brownie pan for your to scrape”.”That’s okay…I’ll bring my own.” She said before placing the pan in the sink and leaving the kitchen.