My teenage daughter struggled through intense drama this week. “Drama” is the term, I’ve learned, to describe the episodes of social turbulence that adolescents and high schoolers endure as they work their way toward graduation and adult life. Unfortunately, some adults I’ve encountered are still stuck in this dramatic style of interacting…but that’s another conversation!
My thoughts today are with my daughter and how relieved I am that this current drama has reached its conclusion and amends have been made with her friend. During the storm, I was fortunate to have my daughter share some of her feelings and struggles with me. Through it all, I vacilated between wanting to fix the situation for her and letting her work it out on her own. I’ve learned that I am most helpful to her, and make the strongest connection with her, when I simply listen and relate to her feelings, rather than telling her how to fix it or charging in to do the fixing myself. She can figure out the right thing to do; she just needs help to get through the feelings and see her way to that right thing. And, she needs to know I have confidence in her to do just that.
Last night at dinner, it was clear she was at peace through her kind interactions with her younger sister and her joining in to laugh with us around the table. My own heart was relieved, too. There’s a quote on another page of this blog from Elizabeth Stone that says being a mom is like having “your heart go walking around outside your body.” I had shared, vicariously, in her pain. Then, as the drama cloud lifted, we both experienced the blessed lightness of reconciliation and release.