It’s the perfect beach day. Not too hot. Not too cool. Just the right amount of breeze. Chair strategically placed. Toes in the water. Book open. Total relaxation.
“Mom, want to go for a walk with me?” I close the book and move the chair back up under the umbrella. Of course I want to go for a walk. If a teenager asks you to go for a walk, you go.
Off we go in search of sea glass. You have to really concentrate to find sea glass on our beach so there’s not a lot of talking. It doesn’t matter. I’m happy to be walking with my girl. I’m even happier that she’s happy to be walking with me.
Some days, all we find are rocks. You think you’ve spied a piece of sea glass but it turns out to be a light white rock or a smooth shell. On this particular day, we do well. 10 pieces in all – clear ones, green ones and a dark brown one. We head back to the umbrella, chatting a little bit on our way.
It occurs to me that parenting a teenager is like looking for sea glass. There are days that are all rock. Rolling eyes, silence, sarcasm. But there are the sea glass days. The smile, the laugh, the genuine interest in what you have to say.
M and I are lucky or at least lucky so far. We find a lot of sea glass in our girl. K and M point out cars to each other. They share a similar taste in movies. K and I have started going to exercise classes together. I know! We go to Zumba together and I don’t embarrass her. After our first class, she actually said “you did pretty good, Mom.” And I want extra credit because I responded with an enthusiastic thank you rather than correcting her grammar.
Of course it’s not all magic. I was recently making homemade cookies for K to take to a sleepover. I didn’t really have time, but the girls like them so I made the time. K walked in and asked me what was wrong. “Nothing. I’m just thinking”, I replied. My darling daughter’s reaction? “No offense, Mom, but when you look like that you’re either thinking or you’re irritated about something. And usually? It’s the second one.” Yeah, that was a rock. The first clue was the “no offense” lead in. Always a warning to duck.
So we take it one step at a time. I relish the times we spend working on puzzles together. Or when she says, “Hey Mom, want to go to a movie?” And did I mention the Zumba class?
Yeah, I’ll pick up that sea glass wherever and whenever I can find it.