From the moment my daughter was born, I was ready. Ready to impart all the life-lessons I’ve learned, ready to be a steady shoulder with a valuable and entertaining anecdote or parable that will solve any of her life dilemmas. In me, she would find an ever-bubbling font of wisdom at the ready, and she would drink deeply, shouting my name to the world as the wisest mother of all mothers.
She’s fourteen, so most of the time when I start to share, I get an eyeroll. Or a “Mom. Stop.” Or I’ll finish my anecdote and say “You see, honey? That’s what I’m getting at here…” and she’ll look up from her phone with a puzzled expression and say “Huh? Were you talking to me?”
So I’ve learned to sling the advice not with a shovel or a garden trowel, but in drips and splashes, hoping something will splatter and stick.
“Look at this line,” I’ll say as she’s getting ready for school. “Wish I’d moisturized more at your age.” She’ll reach for the lotion before she reaches for her makeup.
She had a boyfriend for three weeks once that she never really saw in school and they never once so much as held hands. The entire relationship was text messages. This, apparently, is common now. I wanted to tell her that a relationship where you’re not ever in each other’s company and have no plan to work toward that goal isn’t the greatest foundation, but settled instead for, “How do you know you’re the only one he’s texting as a girlfriend?” I left that as a seed to germinate. It was the best I could do.