Saturday, January 1, 2011

the one where I live blog the invasion of more teens

(note: I thought I was going to let go of the last Reverb 10 prompt. For me, it is a complicated question, and though I admire the question's depth, I didn't want to hash it out in public. But I think I've found a way to make it work for me, to be honest without excessive self-disclosure. This is definitely more light-hearted than I would have managed if I'd played by the "rules," if there are any. Maybe what I'm doing here, though great fun, is bad, bad, bad. I don't know. I'll figure it out later. Maybe this isn't a genuine response to the prompt, but this post is an example of part of my story-building process, and my "core" these days is completely made of my daughter. So. That's what I'm offering.

The prompt:

December 31 – Core Story. What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.)

(Author: Molly O’Neill))

8:25 p.m.

My daughter and I both did shed our pajamas for "real" clothes, she went out to dinner with two friends. Later they gathered the fourth member of their "Girls Night Gang," drove around for a bit
and now
are back here


I'd sent my girl a text at about 8:10 just asking where they were.

"Driving around. lol," she wrote back.

Five minutes later, the four of them (I think it's four, though it could be three or 17. Hard to tell. They moved too quickly and are now quite loud) spilled into the house through the back door.

They're up in my Girl's room now, hollering and laughing, stomping around.

An impromptu sleepover could break out at any moment.

You know what's so thrilling about this?

(and you know I love this, right?)

I don't have to do anything. This requires no effort from me. I tell my Girl, "They're welcome to come here," and so they do.

"Are you staying the night?" my Girl asked her friends.

"Sure, I'm staying. Can we stay?" Senior friend said.

"You're always welcome to stay. I'm lonely. I have this big room and this extra bed...."

I shouted up the stairs, "Girl, you're pathetic!"

"Shut up!" she hollered down.

"Did you tell your mother to shut up?" one girl asked.

"She called me pathetic," Girl said.

I hear drumsticks clicking against themselves, more thumping and stomping.

I must be insane. I will be so exhausted by 6 a.m. Monday morning when my alarm goes off for the beginning of our regular school week routine.

I don't care.

The girls are planning to go see Little Fockers. I can't imagine ever wanting to see that film, but it's made especially for teenagers, so I suppose it's perfect.

Black Swan has finally landed in our theater. Although I was hoping for this, I didn't expect that it would ever get here, and doubt it will last here in our little city for more than a week.

"I'm going to see that with you," my Girl said during the manic waiting while one of the girls shoved her feet into her boots (the others accused her of putting them on the wrong feet. "Look! See how it's curved inward on the outside? That's just not right."). My Girl is a year away from being able to get into R-rated films on her own. Apparently going with a friend who is over 17 and can buy the tickets for her or himself doesn't work. One must attend such things with one's mother. (yay!)

The girls are gone now after three minutes of exquisitely wild chatter in my little dining nook. Since the three extra are all spending the night, they needed to stop off for overnight bags at three different houses, quickly, so that they can make the 9:30 showing of the terrible film.

The oldest (she's a senior, the others are sophomores) is the chauffeur. I trust her with my daughter's life.

We have the tattoo design I want to get on my left wrist stuck to the refrigerator with a magnet. My daughter drew the design. I love the concept of wearing my daughter's art on my skin. I think I'll treat myself to the tattoo the next time I get a paycheck of some kind.

"I want to come when you get this done!" Senior friend bellowed, pointed first at the drawing, then at me.

"Of course!" I said.

The house is now silent again and will be silent until around midnight when they return from the film.

I should probably take a nap, huh? Or brew a pot of coffee?


I may come back to add to this post if things get interesting. Whatever happens, it will most likely end up in a story some time in the future.

(10:47 p.m. - I doubt I'll return to this. Am tempted to strike through. Live blogging, however, is not good writing, so I'll leave it. tra la.)


12:03 a.m.

The girls returned about 20 or 25 minutes ago with bags of food (except my Girl who seems to be over Wendy's). They help themselves to sodas, run upstairs to set up a picnic area in my Girl's room. She comes down for paper plates, plastic cups, napkins, Oreos and Flaming Hot Cheetos. I am not listening to their buoyant chat. I've been geeking out on the first season of a geeky television show. But I'm tired and may retire to my messy room with laptop, book, cat. I won't sleep well because the way my house is built, the sound from upstairs rains down into my bedroom.

It's a beautiful noise, though.

2010 was a year of drama for these kids, a difficult year. I'm starting to lose track now of the number of "GNGs" we've had here..... (this combination of four girls ... they heal each other's emotional wounds with laughter and conversation.)

My Girl and Senior just came down with used cups, paper plates, soda cans, the Oreos and Cheetos, tossed out the trash, put away the food. They are in pajamas.

Senior friend is an Army recruit and is excited about getting "buff." She wants to share what she's learning in the physical training she's getting twice a week.

"We're going to do mad crunches," she says. I stand up and walk to my stepper where my little 2-pound weights sit. My hip cracks (ow), and I limp and mention the cracking hip.

She tells me a horrifying story about an injury she received as an infant that caused a lot of suffering. But her delivery makes it seem like she's telling a funny story. When she gets to the punch line, she raises both her arms, a weight in each hand and says, "I had to go through physical therapy for a long time. It was HELL! But I'm all better now, though my back doesn't line up quite right."

My Girl stands in the hallway at the foot of the stairs leading up to her room, watching, listening. The look on her face ... she is appalled at the things her friend has suffered.

(We are so lucky.)

Oh, the noise, the beautiful noise! If I do retire to my room with book and laptop and cat, I'll be taking my headphones with me.

("That doesn't help my abs at all!" the Elfin girl says. "That hurts my back! Badly!" Oh. Dear.)


1:44 a.m. I was all tucked up in my bed watching my geeky television show on my laptop, sound flowing through my wonderful headphones. The episode ended, and I looked up toward my door because I caught a movement. My Girl and Senior friend were standing in the doorway to this horrible messy bedroom yelling at me.


"Girl's MOM!"



They just wanted to see how long it would take to get my attention, they said.

But really, they wanted to take some movies upstairs and get food.

The queso the other group of kids didn't eat last night (Friday night. Seriously, I feel like Friday will continue until I drop her off at school on Monday) was in its pristine jar, never opened, in the cabinet. Girl found it.

"That needs to be microwaved to be edible," I said.

"I love you mom! You're the nicest person. You're so nice. The nicest, really. You're NICE!"

"When you say that," I said, "all I hear is, 'you're a CHUMP!'"

"I don't know what a chump is," she said. (Ah, the language barrier between baby boomers and whatever generation she is).

(another girl just stuck her head around the corner of my (messy) bedroom door and waved on her way into the bathroom. God. I really need to put away these stacks of clean clothes. Stacks and stacks (not just mine).)

"You really are the nicest," senior friend said. "My mom would... my mom wouldn't... "

So. I warmed up the queso, loaded up a tray with the dip, salsa, chips, napkins. The Girl poured four glasses of lemonade.

They are now set with a stack of DVDs, food, drink.

And I will watch another episode, I suppose, because there's still no way I can sleep with that beautiful noise raining down on my head.


2:05 a.m. - Senior friend came down to use the bathroom and then delivered a message.

"The Girl wants me to inform you that we're going running at 6 a.m. tomorrow."

I burst out laughing. "I think the only way my Girl will be conscious at 6 a.m. is if she doesn't go to sleep."

Senior friend is usually the last to fall asleep when these girls have their gatherings, so she has a bet going with my Girl about who will fall asleep first tonight. She doesn't like to be the last one awake.

(She did make fun of me for not hearing them when they stood in my doorway and yelled at me for five minutes straight. She's allowed. I love her.)

She went back upstairs to tell the girls what I said about the morning run.

"This is your mom's reaction," Senior friend said, "and I quote, 'aHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!'"


  1. Love this- love the humour, the love, the writing and the sequence of events.
    I'm thrilled too that I found you through reverb10. I'll keep on popping in and sharing your thoughts and laughs. Thanks for posting. Oh and Happy New Year!

  2. omg...i so wish i was there. in 10 years this will be my life. we always eat fake queso on new year's eve too! --sara

  3. I love this window into your life with teenagers. The beautiful noise. Lovely.

  4. This I have to look forward to, I guess (I think).

  5. I hope I'm that lucky when my Bean is a teenager. It sounds like you've been a really good mom.
    I'll keep reading you :-)

  6. what a fun read this is about a fun night that was.

  7. I loved this. I had goosebumps reading it. I have two girls--8 and 10. As we all get older, I love spending more and more time with them. Your story makes me excited for the future instead of scared. So many people are so negative about teens.

    You're so lucky to have each other and they're especially lucky to have such a safe and nurturing home and person to come home to.

    This line made me tear up "I trust her with my daughter's life." So true.

  8. Ah, our lives are so parallel. I'm going to miss the Lovely Noise when it's blessedly quiet, won't you?

    Your tattoo and my ears. I'd never had them pierced, had never WANTED to have them pierced, until MY oldest Girl and her friends pulled me into a Canadian earring store. Me getting my ears punctured as 8 darling girls held my hands - I'd undergo a lot more pain than THAT, for them! ;)