"Nothing we ever do for the rest of our lives could be as important as what we're going through right now in high school." That statement (or something like it) was made on the TV show, Robot Chicken, when they did a segment spoofing Dawson's Creek. And yes, I remember feeling that exact same way when I was in high school. We were young, and we were alive (even when we wished we weren't). We were delving into new experiences, new relationships, and very new emotions. It was all so very dramatic. Some of us (a-hem), who had grown up on the afternoon soaps, reveled in it. Got down, rolled around, and covered ourselves in the dirty thick of it all. It took me about eight years, after graduation, to learn how to rise above it. Yeah, I slipped and fell a few times. I got a little drama on the bottom of my shoe, and carried it around with me for about a year or so. But for the past twelve years I have worked very hard to keep drama out of my life. There will be no drama in my house, so wipe your feet before entering!
My eldest daughter suffered her teenage dramas while living with her father (lucky him), and so I didn't get to witness first hand the Shakespearean tragedies in which she participated. When she did come to live with me in her senior year, I removed her from bad situations, strengthened her focus and resolve, and kept her on the straight and narrow. Maybe that's why, after graduation, she decided to move back to her father's until joining the Navy.
My son left his father's house for mine during the summer between his freshman and sophomore year. But he's a loner, who didn't care much for social interaction, and so there wasn't much going on in that arena. There still isn't. Although he is refining his skills in creating a disturbance in his sibling circle, and then making a quick exit, leaving us to deal with the aftermath.
My youngest is a small, well behaved (for the most part) gal, who plays happily with her friends, and excels in school. I don't expect much trouble from her.
Which leaves me now, with a cyclonic dirt devil, spinning on the precipice of fifteen. She attracts drama like a moth to a flame... like an iron sliver to a homemade electro-magnet in a seventh grade science lab... like the lonely specs of personified dirt, in those goofy Swiffer commercials, who happily fly up to meet the mop head. Yeah, like that. It used to be that she created her own situations, that in turn created insomnia, anxiety, depression, and ulcers in the rest of us. As luck would have it, there's no need for her to do that now, as she is now a freshman in high school. Ooh, high school, you soupy mudhole of pubescent hormones and underdeveloped grey matter. Youth is so wasted on the young.
A few nights ago, the boy next door (who is also a teenager, and from what I gather, is some sort of a hottie) brought his girlfriend home from school with him. Said girlfriend is having trouble at home, and after breaking up with said boyfriend, announced her intention of running away, and proceeded to head for the highway. Literally the highway... it's about forty yards from our house, but then again, so is the off ramp that leads back to our neighborhood. Thirty minutes on the front porch chatting with said girlfriend, before her exit, and another half hour chatting with said hottie next door, and the next thing I knew, my daughter was down and rolling around it the dirty thick of it.
Panic set in ... the chat lines were hot. The phone was called into play. Missing person's websites were scanned. Requests for made for an all out search party. Requests denied. Tempers flared and tears erupted.
"But she drank a half a bottle of Listerine!"
"So, her breath is very minty"
"She's gonna pass out on the side of the highway and be run over by a truck!"
"More likely, she'll barf on the side of the highway, and then head back here".
"You just don't understand!"
"I can write you a book on high school and dramatic teenage girls."
"But, she's my best friend!"
"You just met her today!"
"No, I met her last week, we became friends today!"
"Let's talk about this calmly and rationally."
"I don't want to talk to you, you're not listening to me!"
Stomp! Stomp! Stomp!
Just when you think you've crawled and scratched your way out, they make it their life's mission to drag you back in.
(The neighbor hottie's ex-girlfriend turned out just fine, by the way.)