As a new mom, I can only hope that my daughter will always cherish our relationship and love me unconditionally. But I was a teenager once, and a seriously bratty one at that, so I'm realistic about the idea that at one point, I'll embarrass her. Recently my friends and I were sharing horror stories from our adolescence about the mean things we did to our mothers and it was equal parts hilarious and horrifying. The thing that was most surprising, was that we all were able to single out one specific incident that stood out from the rest as the worst of the worst. To offer some context, we were all pretty good kids, but clearly had our fair share of behavior issues. One of my friends took a thick permanent marker to the wall of her closet where she wrote, in capital letters no less, that she hated her mom (it's still there to this day). My other friend shared how one day in middle school, her mom came to pick her up and she pretended not to see her, instead running the other direction, at which point her mom told her how much it had hurt her feelings. Mine was a bit more blunt and it still haunts me to this day.
It was Halloween night my freshman year in high school. That's a particularly awkward time because you're kind of too old to go trick-or-treating (I still went anyway because that's how I rolled), but too young to head to an all-night rager. My mom was keenly aware of this and offered to throw my friends and me a little get-together at home. There were about a dozen of us and the plans were simple - we had a stack of horror movies, fun snacks and decorations that she put together. A few minutes before everyone was supposed to arrive, she got dressed and emerged from her room in a cute outfit, with one accessory that I zero'd in on immediately: a bright red beret (she wasn't in costume). As she was putting the finishing touches on one of her homemade desserts, I asked, in a tone that only an angsty teenager can replicate, "Are you going to wear that?" She could have called me out on being ungrateful or cancelled the whole party then and there, but instead, she started to cry. I can't think of a time when I've felt more ashamed. While my mom and I have had plenty of disagreements since then, I've never felt worse than in that instance.
With any luck, our daughter won't be too much of an insolent teenager, but let's just say that if she is, it'll be well deserved.