addtext_com_mdyzmdq5njy3nwParenting teens sometimes requires a wishing well. We wish, hope, and pray our offspring access present and future prosperity of respect, kindness, and compassion. Our guidance aims toward moving targets like undisciplined arrows lacking power and conviction. We instill our values upon their impressionable hearts and pray connection between us at least leaves love as a residue. Our communications are often lost in translation, their teen foreign language comprehended by pubescent souls only like an exclusive club. To realize they are never alone in this large world of change, challenge, and unease, is our desire.

As her mother, I remain present; notice the nuances that lie beneath the surface of her expressions, the pain that lines the brow of her forehead, the ache in her heart she cannot articulate to release from her existence. The fine line between interference of her assertive independence and the support needed when a hand is necessary is a tightrope that loosens as I near its center. Balancing my role as observer and ‘catcher in the rye’ is delicate when the parenting wishing well runs dry.

“I am present,” I tell her. “Hear me. See me. Feel my unconditional love. Let me relieve the weight from your shoulders when the world upon you is too much to bear.”