My fifteen-year-old is on spring break and is being unusually nice to me. Instead of grading tonight, I accepted a rare invitation to play a board game. And she didn’t even mind that I won, twice.
She doesn’t talk to me much, and I am mostly patient, but this week when she has no homework and can sleep in and no Frisbee practice and none of the other pressures of high school life (she’s wearing no make-up) makes me see that she must be stressed out during school. Which makes her quiet. She seems surly, okay maybe she is surly, but she is also stressed.
She is always surprised at how good her report card is. She does not know, fully, how smart she is. She does not believe me when I tell her. She writes better than most of my undergraduates.
I miss the adoring little girl she once was, but, when she lets me in this way, I like the teenage version too. I admire her thrift shopping aplomb and her sense of style and her silly dancing. (I of course am not allowed to dance.)
Her friend gave her every Taylor Swift CD for her birthday and we go into a Taylor Swift haze in the car, listening to one after the other. We looked up tickets online but the only ones left cost $200. Next tour.
She would actually think of going to a concert with me! (And her friend.)