Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes . . .

Uploaded 30 Jun 2008 — 3 favorites
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© Natalie S
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

The reality is . . . THESE are a few of her favorite things at 13: skulls, MP3, computer, and Stephenie Meyer books.

My daughter has remained true to herself, in spite of what others think. I pray every night that she stays that way and never gives in.

I've previously written of my experiences with her becoming a "teen". It's hard. Yes, it's hard for me to reach her . . . but so much harder for her to just be herself without the pressures of negative peer judgement. I love her so much and this time we're in now is so much different and harder for an American girl trying to go from young girl to woman. There's no more gradual in between.

Yes, America is the "land of opportunity". But, look deeper. There's more to that outside appearance. Maybe not - maybe it's more obvious to those in other countries. "We've" become self-absorbed, consumed by material goods, bigger / faster / more / prettier is better. Women are supposed to be beautiful, thin, pleasing objects. If you're too smart, you don't fit in. If you don't wear the proper clothes, you're made fun of. If you're "different", your cast out as useless.

Harsh? Read "Reviving Ophelia" if you are the parent of a young girl today. It's an awakening that's been a long time coming.

12 responses

  • Nelson Campbell

    Nelson Campbell (Deleted) gave props (1 Jul 2008):

    The title and picture made me laugh, your words brought me back into the reality of the implications, hurdles and other challenges of trying to grow up, find an identity, be one's self, form and hold onto integrity. She's got a heck of a supporter in you.

  • Glenn Buzbee

    Glenn Buzbee said (1 Jul 2008):

    You have a definite handle on the reality of teen daughter to grown woman process. Our two 20-something daughters went through a lot of changes, and it wasn't always fun for them or us. But they've come out on the other side pretty well-put-together. It was white-knuckle time for parts of those years.
    Stick to your values, stick to your guns, be a parent, set limits, help them with boundary issues, and if that can include friendship, ok. But parents are not peers to their children and should not try to be that out of fear of losing them. I think you know that already.

  • Lynn H

    Lynn H (Deleted) gave props (1 Jul 2008):

    Love the photo, the title and your work! :)

  • Natalie S

    Natalie S said (1 Jul 2008):

    Thank you Lynn! Glenn, thank you so much for your words of wisdom having already gone through it - helps to hear success stories. Nelson, you actually picked up on my own waffling, as I initially meant it as lighthearted because she has never been into wearing bows and fancy dresses, and, as I sat watching her in the kitchen I looked at her surroundings and said to myself that she's there with " a few of her favorite things". Then I thought of the song and became more reflective on how times have changed and what I've been reading to sort of help me navigate through. I try so hard to just be her compass, not steer her ship. But most days, she just seems to want me as backup life preserver - and that's only if her own fails!!

  • J. Harris Blacklist

    J. Harris Blacklist   gave props (1 Jul 2008):

    Natalie...let's have a glass of wine and ponder this!

  • Shannon Friel

    Shannon Friel gave props (1 Jul 2008):

    Great capture & title-as a mom of 3 I agree with your words wholeheartedly. The best thing a parent of a teen can do is to raise them to be confident in who they are!

  • Natalie S

    Natalie S said (1 Jul 2008):

    Shannon - thank you so much for your words. I just visited your page briefly and will be back - love your beautiful avatar!
    J. - what can I say? I never turn down a glass of wine and a good pondering. :) Though with me pondering can turn dangerous - kindof like Willy Wonka in the Chocolate Factory - things can seem out of hand for awhile, though I have a plan in the end. :)

  • Debby Adler

    Debby Adler said (2 Jul 2008):

    I am ritght there with you, Natalie! This could be a shot of MY 13 y.o. daughter, except that she never lets me take a picture of her. I think I will take this one and pretend it's her, because from your angle it looks exactly like her! Same skulls, computer, phone, book... What a riot! And they think they are being so original.

  • hr chick

    hr chick said (2 Jul 2008):

    I love this!

  • Maria Gonzalez

    Maria Gonzalez gave props (2 Jul 2008):

    right on!

  • Robert Duncan

    Robert Duncan   gave props (24 Aug 2008):

    i chuckeled out loud when i saw this. this is SO many of my students.

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