If the deluge of Inauguration-related media the last 24 hours prevented you from seeing the news, you may have missed the news that there is snow in the Sahara desert. Yes, you read that correctly. For the first time since 1979 (with the exception of a light spattering end of December), the hottest desert in the world has snow. What a dichotomy. It reminds me a lot of my twelve year old daughter, Margaret.
I don’t remember being twelve. So I don’t have a frame of reference that I can readily draw from. But from a mother’s perspective, there’s a duality that is both exciting and shocking all at once. In a single afternoon, I am regaled by Margaret’s laughter, infuriated by her selfishness, and devastated by her sadness. She flits like a butterfly one moment and explodes like an improvised explosive device (IED) the next. She is in her “terrible tweens.” Like the “terrible twos,” but dramatically worse because you can’t pick your kid up and whisk her away when the histrionics begin.
No amount of experience has prepared me for this duality. That’s the downside. When Margaret was two years old, her dramatic mood change seemed to be caused by the most arbitrary action. When she was two, a roaring fit of laughter inspired by lots of tickling would quickly become dinosaur tears if the dog next door barked twice instead of three times. At twelve, the cause of mood change is just as random; she happily bounces into my car singing her favorite song from Hamilton when I pick her up from school. By the time we pull into the driveway, she thinks I don’t love her because I turned on the radio while she was singing (is she never NOT singing these days? Have no idea where she gets that from).
The upside is that I get to be part of my daughter’s emotional evolution as she experiences the elements of life that will ultimately help shape who she is as an adult. I love it and I hate it. She’s the best adventure I’ve ever gone on and she’s the greatest source of buyer’s remorse for wanting something I probably didn’t deserve in the first place. She’s my muse and my cross to bear. She’s my snow and my sand.
She’s Margaret – and like her poem to me she posted last week – she’s all mine.