DJ said that to me a few months ago. She came downstairs. I could tell from her body language that she was conflicted, unhappy, and just not sure what to do or how to react. She threw her arms me and said “Moe, puberty is weird.”
Saturday, we had a real conflict as parents. DJ was freaking out.
DJ does not freak out. I cannot recall the last time she has had a freak out moment. She tends to embrace the new. She blows of the anxiety. She just sort of jumps in with both feet rather than balks. She may be nervous, but she will always exude confidence.
She came down the stairs this morning and gave me a hug.
“I don’t feel like myself today,” she said as her head was buried into my shoulder.
I told her that’s what Moe’s were for. I knew she would do great today. She always rocks. And just held her for a few minutes. Then I gave her a huge squeeze, kissed her, and sent her to get the rest of her stuff.
In the car, she was just off. She was quiet. She was not freaking out about running late per usual. And when we got there just on time, she just sat there instead of sprinting for the door.
“I’m feeling really weird.”
We asked what the problem was. No answer. She was freaked out. You could tell she was.
“I’m really really nervous for some reason.”
We explained it was just a class. No one was grading her. She had to be there, do what was asked, so they could check the box on her black belt test. No test. No judgement. Just a class.
She would not get out of the car. She was freaking out.
“DJ, if you don’t take the class, they may not let you test for your black belt. You have worked so hard for 3 years to get to this point. Do you really want to lose your chance just because you were nervous??”
She was seriously considering it. On one hand, she did not want to lose her chance.
On the other, she didn’t care. She was freaked, and just wanted to go home.
As a parent, this SUCKED. On one hand, it was a suck-it-up moment. Nerves are nerves. Don’t throw it all away because of them.
On the other hand, I wanted to let her go home – and tell her it was going to be alright. A conflicting moment as a mom – toss her out of the car or take her home.
And she was on the verge of an anxiety attack – you could see it in her eyes. So G and I started talking to her about not letting her brain talk her out of something she has worked so hard about – just because there were some unknowns. You could tell G was just at wits end. He was going to stay with her if that’s what it would take. He was frustrated too. Does he drag her from the car? Or take her home too?
I finally told her she needed to get out of the car. She was not thinking clearly. She was thinking too much. She was going to be fine – like usual – I decided I could not let her irrational fear win.
I don’t recall what I said – but I got her out of the car. She was – by this time – 20 minutes late.
“WTF was THAT??!?!?” was the text I got from G after we drove off.
“I don’t know if I should hug her or throttle her?”
“Hug her” was my response, “she’s going thru puberty poisoning. She doesn’t understand why this happened either. All we can do is hold on as she goes through it.”
G talked to one of the instructors there that knows and loves DJ. He told her she was having a freakout of some sort – and asked if she would check on her. Despite all of his frustration, he was honoring his promise by not leaving and not being there for her. This instructor told him that she was doing fine.
Later, we met them as the class was ending. She did great. She has a fine time. She learned a lot. Hell, she was even asked to perform a form a as they demo’d the way you score them. She did a great job. In fact, she was happy at how they scored it – and the feedback they gave her. She was excited.
“I don’t know what I was worried about.”
Neither do we. But she did spend the rest of the day commenting how she just felt off. We went a few places, and she and I walked hand-in-hand or arm-in-arm. We joked. She found something for a friend and fretted that she didn’t have a dollar with her to buy it for her friend. (I gave her a dollar because any kid who is excited to buy her friend some “pocket duct tape” deserved a dollar for it. And yes, her friend will be just as excited too.)
When we went to an iconic store downtown – an Outdoor store which is actually a western store – she got excited by the whips (lord, help us) – and wanted to understand what the riding crops could be used for. (Yeah, we’re all in trouble.)
It has begun.
May we all get through it.
And may an afternoon with her Moe will cure some of it, like it did Saturday.