I’m alive and well. And so is she. But barely. Holy shit, jr. high is no joke!!!! And jr. high after covid in this backward senselese culture we live in, I just know it’s the reason God made the tough bitch I am! Excuse my language, that’s how I talk.

I first want to say that jr. high has always been a nightmare. For both the parents and the students. But throw the confusion of this liberal state I live in into the mix and you have a complete disaster and the only way to survive as the single parent taking the beatings is wine and Jesus. It’s been over 2 years of this crazy train. There’s been a lot of yelling, crying, long nights, long talks, and a whole lot of love. We had to work through the most difficult of subjects, experiences, feelings, friendships… I didn’t do it all right. I might have done most of it wrong. I don’t know. I actually haven’t asked her but I think I will. I do know that she’s back. I’m not sure where my baby girl went but she’s back. And I cry every time I think about how scared I was that she might not smile and laugh the way she did before.

Her jr. high was very liberal. The state and education system is very liberal. I happen to be conservative and believe in pretty simple concepts like, by design, men are men and women are women and there’s no other options. Crazy, I know. I happen to want full knowledge and responsibility in my daughter’s health and wellness. Considering I still do her laundry and cook her meals, I think that’s reasonable. I actually want health class to teach on health and not hot political topics including but not limited to encouraging secrecy from parents when seeking out abortions. That was actually taught to my daughter in sex ed. It’s more than mean girls and gross boys these days. Excuse my language but, fuck you California. As for me and my house…

I can thankfully say that my daughter graduated 8th grade with most of the values I taught her in tact. She’s still innocent, drug and alcohol free and happy. It was January of this year, halfway through 8th grade, when she started to come back to me. My sweet vivacious daughter was starting to talk to me again, she hung out and held conversation. She wanted to shop and get coffee. We became buddies. Slowly, but by the time school ended, I was so proud of the amazing and infectious smile on her face. Her heart is golden and I absolutely love her!

When we talk about those dark days of her hiding out in her room, hating everyone, feeling angry for no reason, looking on the outside as lost as she was on the inside, she explains that she felt confused. She had so many misunderstandings of who I was and how I felt about her, along with misunderstandings about herself. She thought I hated her. She despised our differences until she finally started to understand them. We still have differences. And we even have confrontation. But it never interrupts relationship and for that I’m so proud. As her heart is changing so are her looks. It’s like her spark is back and she’s more beautiful than ever.

I know it’s normal to go through tough seasons during jr. high. But I just want to encourage parents to hold strong to what you know is right and good. Stay soft toward them but boundaries and clear right and wrongs are so good for them. The world offers too many options and variations of reality. And, the State of California is not more entitled or more capable of parenting your child than you. That’s a fact and do not let them think otherwise. Every teacher, counselor and principal at that school knows my name and knows what I believe to be good and right for my daughter. And when they cross a line, they hear from me. It might not change policy but it definitely matters.

We’re now off to high school. Help me baby Jesus. She’s ready. She’s going to be amazing. She’s going to make mistakes but I’m confident we’ll talk through them and I’ll love her through it all. This job is tough and exhausting. It’s thankless and merciless. But I’m tough as a mother. We’re gonna be ok.

7/19/22

Raising a Daughter in Jr. High | 2021

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