WTF. I’ve resigned myself to it every time.
Is this the teenage experience? The constancy of this drama? For me, it’s not so much not being able to deal with it, rather the way it messes up time. Events aren’t so clearly laid out anymore. My whole chronology is confused. For example:
- Did Lulu shout at me this morning or yesterday morning because of the way I blew my nose? Even though I’d picked up some remnants of leftover hygiene products without nagging her… and was now driving her to school.
- Was the fumble for cooking ingredients she’d forgotten to tell us she needed for cookery class (and would quickly blame us for failing to pick up on)… was that today or yesterday?
- When she announced after two weeks of attending her new school that she a. had a new boyfriend and b. she’d told him she loved him, did this happen this afternoon or yesterday afternoon? Hold on. I still need to lie down. No matter when it actually took place.
Here in Wales, people would call all of these examples just two words: ‘The Drama’. A rural community in an ancient landscape barely changed by the passage of post-modern time? These guys know how to sum things up. And I guess the question for me is, how much do I get involved? So far, these are my responses:
- I told Lulu to be kindwhen she shouted at me.
- I reminded her she’s got to get more manageable in the cookery class department.
- Boyfriend news – not so good. I mean, I wasn’t NOT expecting it. After all, Lulu’s joined a new school and she’s an awesome bright and bubbly 13-year old. What are the boys going to do? Take vows of silence? Chastity agreements?
She did tell me she thought a boy on the bus was nice. Rumours began to spread in school he liked her.
‘Would you like to go out with me?’ he wrote yesterday.
‘Are you sure you want to go out with me?’ she replied.
‘Of course,’ he wrote. ‘I love you.’
‘That’s awesome,’ she wrote back, ‘I love you too.’
When she told me, I tried not to reel like we’d just caught a marlin. I mean, at least she told me, right?
‘And you said that you loved him back Lu?’ I asked. Just in case I’d heard it wrong.
Shrug. That shrug was a little embarrassed. I didn’t miss it. ‘Well I didn’t mean it,’ she said, ‘you know how you just say it sometimes to random people?’
I shook my head.
‘No,’ Delphine confirmed, sitting next to me.
Little pained frown from my friend Sarah’s face. We were at her house at the time, sitting around her kitchen table.
Last person was Amalie, Sarah’s daughter and Lulu’s best friend. I looked at her hopefully. Hers would surely be the definitive answer. After all, Amalie likes boys. She has boyfriends. Nothing serious so far and she’s refreshingly honest about the whole thing. Find a boyfriend, keep him for a little while and move on. No hard feelings.
‘Have you ever said “I love you” to a boy, Am? Casually like you didn’t mean it?’ At this stage I was sucking the hope out of the wall cracks.
Amalie shook her head very, very slowly. She looked a little sorry for me. ‘Nope.’