“So to you all the kids all across the land…Take it from me, parents just don’t understand”- Parents Just Don’t Understand, DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince
I actually cracked myself up thinking about a song for this next blog post. Took me back at bit. This song doesn’t exactly fit but it works.
Not sure that I’m going to write daily. In fact, I know I won’t. I’m thinking weekly but I had a little time today and was thinking about the Congressional communications director (Elizabeth Lauten) who recently resigned after making some terribly inappropriate comments about the President’s teenaged daughters.
If somehow you’ve avoided being on the ‘net in the past week, click this link http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/congressional-staffer-resigns-disparaging-comments-obama-girls/story?id=27277995 and then let us how you avoided the internet for a week. If I could do that, I’d be finished with the book I’m reading. But I digress…
If you watch the video that likely prompted Ms. Lauten to comment, you’ll notice that the Obama girls appear to be a little bored and perhaps very embarrassed to participate in their father’s “turkey pardoning event”
What is that event about anyways? Never really understood that one. Anyways..
Lauten writes, ”Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family, try showing a little class… And certainly don’t make faces during televised public events.”
Ms. Lauten. Really? Come on.
Now before you comment about me picking her post apart because of her political party, let me just say this… I won’t do that. I’m gonna pick her post apart because she is clearly not the parent of a teenager or must have forgotten what those years are like.
Ms. Lauten, my fourteen year old makes about 17,983 different faces each day. And most of these she captures but taking selfies on her cell phone. I can unintentionally embarrass her at the drop of a hat. And if she was followed around by people with cameras or had every event that she attends with me recorded, people would think that she is the most miserable person on the planet. No, the most miserable person in the solar system. And she’s really a lovely kid.
I don’t know if you’ve forgotten what it is like to be a teen, Ms. Lauten (Lots of folks are ready to remind you though…http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/574596/20141202/resigned-elizabeth-lauten-misdemeanor-teen-shoplifting-white.htm#.VH81SL43dlI) but everything your parents do is embarrassing.
“Well, parents are the same no matter time nor place…
About a month ago, I stood up at a volleyball game and apparently clasped my hands together too loudly and got the look of death from my daughter as she entered the game. I was clapping. For her.
And remember, Ms. Lauten, these are young adults. They are still trying to figure out exactly who they are.
Back in September or October, I posted something on Facebook about our two (plus) week long search for an appropriate Homecoming dress. I still see my daughter as my cute four year old in overalls and she’s trying to figure out exactly who she is as she navigates this “image is everything/shorter and tighter is better for girls” world we live in. We eventually agreed on a dress. One that Ms. Lauten, may or may not have approved of. But my daughter, M, probably much like the Obama girls, tried to wear something that commanded respect and made her feel pretty. And I’m sure she (like many teen girls) did not think she looked like someone trying to get “a spot at a bar”. She believed she looked good.
The other day, I dropped her off at school and when she got out of the car, I said, “Babe, love you. Have a great day.” She grunted, picked up her backpack, and closed the door. So I rolled down the window and said, “Have a great day” (Apparently, I don’t learn…) She crossed her arms and said, “Mom, really? That’s embarrassing. I gotta go.”
Thank goodness no one recorded that exchange.
Later (over a pizza, water (for her), and red wine (for me)), I asked her why she thought I was embarrassing her. Her response? “Mom, you just don’t understand.”
I get that a lot. I just don’t understand. Maybe I do/maybe I don’t!! and that’s ok. Together, we are navigating these wonderful (not awful) teenage years and all that goes along with them: folded arms, boys with shaggy hair, sighing (lots of sighing), ugly shoes, clothing choices, and the constant juggling of academic, social, and athletic pressures.
AND we are enjoying chats in the car, hugs and smooches at night (when no one is looking), thank you’s, awesome clothes shopping adventures, traveling together, and the mini celebrations that come along with academic, social, and athletic success (You should have been at my house when her first high school report came a few weeks ago!).
My guess is that the President (and First Lady) are going through similar things with their girls. And Ms. Lauten’s parents probably did as well. Maybe (hopefully?) they even told her that after she consulted with them during this firestorm. Yes, she called mom and dad. Read her “statement”.
I’m no parenting expert but I think criticism of people’s underage kids, whether or not, they happen to be in the limelight, should be off limits.
I mean, really, there are plenty of other things out there to criticize.
And shhh…please don’t tell M that I posted this. Did I tell you about the eye rolling?