October 29, 2011

“I Have A Right To Be Angry”

She was so matter of fact about it I almost did a double-take. There she sat in the passenger seat of the car and this kid of mine looks me dead in the face, unflinching, and I’d even go so far as to say daringly says to me: “Fine, Mom … but I have a right to be angry.” It doesn’t even matter what this was about, let’s just stay focused on “I have a right to be angry.”

Wow. Just. Wow.

Me and the "Liberated One" (aged 6)
I had to think about that one really hard for a lot of reasons. I may appear to be level-headed and measured in these blog entries – but let me admit here and now that I have a fast tongue and curse like a sailor. I’ve been known to cut somebody down with words with nary so much as a backwards glance. While I like to believe that I’ve evolved and am more mindful of my impact there are still times when I know that I need to find pen and paper or just plain stand down. This was a stand down moment. But my beloved daughter was having none of that either.

It seems that I’ve overused the ‘stand down’ strategy and rather than seeing it as a cooling off tactic – my sweet girl views it as a passive aggressive silent treatment akin to water torture. When there are only two people (and two cats in a house), standing down can feel isolating and mean. Tee hee. She’s on to my tricks now. I really hate that she found me out.

*sigh* It begins.

Somewhere between Barney, the Powerpuff girls, making snow cream two years ago, needing two tubes of mascara now, and freshman year … the landscape has shifted. It was imperceptible and somewhat fuzzy at first but it is shifting into focus with crystal clarity now: my little girl is not so little anymore, she is 15-years-old and the game has changed, folks. I can no longer talk her out of being angry or sad or glad or mad. If I thought in the past that I was not doing those things – it is painfully obvious to me now that I was on some level and she is not having it anymore. No siree buddy Bob … she’s a free-thinker and she … ‘has a right to be angry.’ (How plucky of her).

I seem to remember way back in ‘85 the Beastie Boys telling me and my friends we had to fight for our right to party – and boy did we, all over that college campus.

So, now in 2011 my daughter is asserting her rights … and you know what? … I’m going to let it ride. How can she assert her right to be anything outside our house if she can’t assert it inside our house? To keep some peace, we’re just going to have to come up with some rules of engagement because rights or no rights … I’m STILL the boss of her – for a couple more years at least. How bout that?

Ah, parenthood!


  1. Is this ex-Motorlan Felicia?? -- EYB

  2. It most certainly is! Is this the wonderful Evelyn who introduced me to and took me to see Nina Simone?