I used to fall asleep dreaming about Tom Cruise when I was 11. When I was in my early 20s I fell asleep pretending to be an inspiring guest on Oprah. Lately however, I fall asleep having hypothetical conversations with my future teenage daughter. Addie is officially closer to teen than toddler and some conversations have already started to bubble up about boobs, boys and tampons. If it’s true that you’re supposed to start talking to your kids about the things they need to know five years before they need to know it — future teenage Addie in my head is educated about a lot.
However I’ve realized that oftentimes the advice I’d give a current teenager wouldn’t be the same advice I’d give to Addie in 8 years. Maybe because I’m the one responsible for her? I don’t care if your kid dresses like a tramp and has a misspelled tattoo at 18, but I do care when it comes to mine.
I’d like to think I’d just lay it all out there, very matter of fact without any reverse psychology or ulterior motives. I’ve made mistakes, chances are Addie is going to make a few too, it would feel hypocritical to tell her not to do drugs (which she totally shouldn’t) but if she does, she should only do ones from trusted sources (bad drugs are a terrible thing, future Addie.)
I mean, see my conundrum? Am I projecting too much of myself onto her and she’ll never actually go down the same paths I did and telling her all this will damage her for life? Or is telling her the difference between a shot and a sidecar subliminally giving her permission to go forth and experiment? If she tries new and unusual things, I want her to at least try them safely. *sigh* But in reality I don’t want her to do anything illegal or dangerous. WHAT DO I DO? So here they are, some of the hypothetical conversations I’ve had with Addie.
Heaven help me.
Find more of Casey’s writing on her blog moosh in indy . She’s also available on twitter, facebook, flickr and Instagram. If you can’t find her any of those places? Check the couch, she’s probably taking a nap.