If you read the editor’s note this week, you’ll know for the end of Women’s History Month, the blog this week is focused on younger voices. Women-in-training who are just at the beginning of their journey.
And if you’ve ever meet a tween or teenager or child or adult, there are times where they readily agree to speak, but then when the spotlight is turned on, they full on retreat. It’s a matter of confidence and as you should know, confidence cannot be forced.
Poise, assurance, self-reliance are traits built by surrounding yourself with people you know, you trust, you respect; people who will support you when you succeed and catch you when you fall (or fall with you or laugh at your falling until you learn to laugh at yourself, but you get the drift.)
As a work in progress, our guest blogger for today wasn’t ready to turn her microphone on. So what do you do when the kid is hiding in the dark? You speak with the person she is watching for guidance and intrinsically trusts: her mother.
Background: Our tween is an 11-yr old 6th grader almost finished with her first year of middle school (OMG, do you remember middle school?!). She lives with her mother and sees her dad regularly. She has a 16-yr old brother she alternately loves and despises. She is brilliant, witty, and a perfectionist and the exact opposite of each trait when she gets her stubborn lip going.
To you, Young Lady: when you are ready, there is a spot for you on this blog. You can say as much or as little as you want, in whatever font you choose, in whatever color or medium you prefer, on a topic of your choice. The world is an awesome and petrifying place. You have a good one in your mother. Follow her lead. Pay attention to her triumphs and tragedies and incorporate them into your life. The women of this blog will be with you too. We laugh – a lot – at each other and ourselves. Laugh with us. Your microphone is ready, turn it on.
By: Mindy – Special Contributor
My daughter was asked to add some insight to what it’s like for a tween in today’s world. This child is such a drama queen and full of life I anticipated a great story as only she could tell. Alas, I was so wrong. My lil’ princess has been shy about it since I approached her. “I don’t know what to say or how to answer!” That’s bologna. She is being lazy, lol.
As her Mama (that’s what she calls me), I can shed some light on living with a tween girl. It’s a full boatload of emotions – some days we are happy and giggling together. Other days (like today), she got in the car after school and scowled and was downright mean. A bit of Chick-fil-a and she was once again my sweet child.
We have tug of wars often. The daily war is getting out of bed. DAILY! And much to her aunt’s dismay, the bathing ritual is always a struggle. She hems and haws about getting in the shower/tub, but once in, she drains the water heater. Our last struggle of the day is always bed time. My night owl wants to stay up all night every night. Ummmm, see first battle of getting out of bed. It’s a vicious cycle.
The best are our good times though. And truthfully, the good times outweigh the drama. One night a couple of weeks ago, I was dead tired after working too many hours. I was in bed watching HGTV. My girlie came in with a huge bowl of sliced strawberries (that she sliced herself!) and a medium bowl of powdered sugar. She crawled into bed with me and and shared her strawberries and sugar with me. Sure sure, there was powdered sugar all over my sheets but the joy we shared is what she will remember, as will I.
Girlie loves it when I crawl in bed with her (only at night – see viscous cycle above) and watch YouTube vlogs.
Another favorite that reminds me she is a child still, the jetted tub full of bubbles when all I see is her face.
Or that she tells me things she won’t share with anyone else (when she asks about her period and do I have “stuff” for her; when she needs booty cream and she is with her father; when she really wants to come home but doesn’t want to tell her friends).
What I have learned is you take the good and take the bad and keep moving forward. Try to be a bit of yes and no, with more yes if possible. Surprise them occasionally with a late night Starbucks run for hot chocolate and a cake ball. Don’t sweat that you have $40 to make it for three more days.
The cake ball smile is what matters.
Mindy – Is a single mom raising two kids in a small town she grew up in, has a full-time day job, and sometimes chauffeurs her Dad to Willie Nelson concerts. This is her first piece.