No preparation can "prepare" you for the hurt of the disdain of your teenager or pre-teen. Just as none of us truly understood how overwhelming pregnancy, childbirth, or caring for a young child would be until we were in the midst of the muck; no parent really understands what it will feel like to look into the eyes of their double-digit child and know that they really and truly don't like you. Not only do they not like you, they think you are a pathetic disappointment.
There are plenty of jokes about this parenting stage, probably because it hurts too badly to completely ignore, but it's not funny. It's not.
It's not amusing to believe that a person I have given everything to for years and years would ever look straight through me without noticing that I have a life and desires and dreams. It cuts my heart to know that I am seen as a faceless means to someone else's end; a title, a tool... a mother.
It does not soothe my soul to ponder the universality of teenage disdain. My heart aches even more to know that I caused my own parents the same pain.
A necessary evil doesn't negate its cruelty. It hurts when someone you love doesn't or can't see you.
It was painful when they grew within my body; stretching muscles and ligaments, pinching nerves, and blocking my flow of air.
It was agony when their hearts no longer beat in rhythm with my own. A joyful release, yes; but to pull my innocent and flawless child from my body, 3 times, and share them with the filthy and utterly flawed world was AGONY.
How many times must we recut this cord? How many wounds does it require for a child to become an adult? Is it even possible to cross this threshold without casualties? Is it realistic to hope that they may someday be spared this pain from their own children?
There are many joys of parenting a teenager; this is not one of them.
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