“Oh….You have three daughters? I feel so sorry for you. I had only one and she made me miserable when she was a teenager!”
Many people tell me this while my kids are stranding right next to me. As if an almost 11 year-old, an 8 year-old, and a 4 year-old can’t understand English enough to know their future is being condemned.
This is what I thought about last night while eating pizza at a restaurant with six pre-teen girls to celebrate my own 5th grader’s upcoming eleventh birthday. As they munched on garlic bread, their full-bellied laughs bounced off one another. One girl would start a story and the next one would finish it with an imaginative twist. Their creative narratives wove together as intricately as a Judy Blume novel. Their jokes were smart and sophisticated, and their treatment of each other generous and respectful.
I’ve no doubt that some people have a terrible time raising teenage daughters. Perhaps I’ll be one of them. But I wish been-there-done-that parents would censor themselves just a little bit and stop dissing future teenage girls.
Because I think the amazing young women I dined with last night deserve a fresh start and a chance to prove them wrong.