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  • As we pulled up to the theater, my youngest daughter of three, the spy, caught her older sister red handed. Almost telescopically she spotted the guy standing beside her oldest sister inside the movie theater before I did.

    "Oh Mom...Look who she's with!", the young sister yelled.

    I texted her “Were outside waiting..tell Chris goodnight”.

    She slinked into the minivan with shame. She knew she was caught in a lie.

    My heart sank. In an instant, I flashed forward to my oldest daughter as an unwed teenage mother sitting on the couch eating chocolate mint ice cream while watching Spongebob all day. Or perhaps it was the hurt of my own lies and deceptions surfacing.

    But that’s when I freaked out and yelled at her. I did, I’m not proud.
    "What were you thinking?!", was all I could get out of my mouth. I knew good and well the answer.

    She had told me it would just be her and her 12 year old sister at the movie and no one else. I couldn’t believe she would concoct such a highly articulated plan to deceive me. Now, a lie was in our relationship. Instead of letting her sit and feel the weight of the lie, I became the bad guy. The tyrannical nut job of a mom that is over-protective. And the thing is, I’ve read the books, I know why teenagers do the shit they do. But in the moment, it didn’t help. My head has the answers, but my heart obviously does not.

    I think it must happen like this: you stand still, they walk away. Your heartstrings tug them back to you. That’s when they turn around and hack them loose.

    This morning, I’m just crying like a baby. Crying because I never imagined it being this way. This hard. Never imagined being on the uncool, parental side of the table with my own children. Crying because time moves under my feet. And my kids are growing up, but I never thought I’d feel so helpless and vulnerable to them.

    Last night was bad. She couldn’t see the worry and concern past my epic freak out and I couldn’t remember the taste of new freedom blinding my senses.

    How will we pull the curtains back on a new day and find common ground?
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