Tuesday, January 6, 2009

future katie

At lunch the other day I saw a mother/daughter pair with a resemblance as strong as that between mom and Mag. The girl was probably 14 or 15. She was wearing all black, with the exception of the hot pink tight/black fish net combo on her legs and the pink flamingo purse she was working. I was struck by her because it wasn't even a school day and she was rocking her look, just on an outing to get lunch with her mom. Maybe she was going to cruise the mall afterwards, who knows. I was struck even more by the fact that she was confident enough to work that look, but not enough to tell the Qdoba girl what she wanted on her soft tacos - her mom acted as translator over the glass partition. Interesting.

I got to thinking of 'future Katie' the teenager. What clique will she fall into? Every parent - most particularly moms (but then again my sample group is skewed in that direction) - has different hopes of what group their kid will fit in with as they get older. Mag and I were laughing about how for us, we just hope our kids are smart. Others want their kids to be popular or pretty. I actually really hope Katie ISN'T one of those 'popular girls,' because of all the nonsense that can go along with it. Of course I want her to have good friends, but I don't think having friends and being 'popular' necessarily have anything to do with each other.

What I find most amusing about myself is that right now, I would be totally cool with helping 'future Katie' dye her hair blue or magenta or whatever color she wanted. Sheesh! It's just hair. But PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't try out to be a cheerleader! Be a jock or a nerd instead!

Or at least confident with yourself in whatever you choose.


Margaret said...

Thank you for using me as an example of a daughter who looks exactly like her mother. I will show it to Kalle just as soon as he gets home from work.

Serena Cherry said...

I seriously think about this all the time...maybe it is because Lane acts like a teenager all of the time. I really want her to be a nerd. No doubt about it. I think the confidence this is 1st in my book too. Just have self-esteem!! Don't be like your mother was when she was in HS!!! I loose sleep over it already. It is a scary prospect.

MiaKatia said...

I think about this way more than I should too! I was always in the middle group as far as popularity goes... I didn't get invited to any of the cool kid parties, but the cool kids were always nice to me. On the other hand I was bookish/nerdy/studious enough to be accepted by the nerd group as well, but not quite studious enough to be one of the gang. I liked it. I would rather my daughter not aspire to the popular group. I hope I instill in her some sort of focus for the future where she takes school seriously and works her tail off to be the best she can be. I really want her to work hard but of course have some fun too. And without a doubt I want her to know her own self worth, a gift beyond measure for any teenage girl.

The Stradling Family said...

That is so funny. Isn't it amazing what we stress about? If they could just do what ever we say and not have any choices of their own (oops, that sounds a little familiar doesn't it?).

Disco Mom said...

Ha! I love the little afterthought at the end...(just in case she does want to be a - perish the thought! - cheerleader, just be confident in it!) I am definitely not losing sleep over this yet but it is on my radar. Hazel's got two little "friends" at preschool who are not actually "friends" because they act like middle schoolers - bossy, manipulative, totally hot-and-cold, like sometimes they let her play with them and sometimes they are so mean she cries - and she ADORES them. They are all she talks about and I feel like smacking all three of them, and then forcing her to be friends with any of the other nice kids at school. I'm taking this experience as a chance to experiment having discussions with Hazel about what a friend is, how to understand behavior in others that is confusing, etc., always being sure to define how we act "in our family" despite how others act. NO IDEA if it's having the desired effect but apparently it's never too early to start.

I don't remember caring much about acceptance of peers when I was younger, but most of my self-esteem issues came from feeling misunderstood by my parents and family. Isn't it funny how we are all hyper-sensitive to the issues we had ourselves? So I am trying to be as aware of that as I can, because while I can't choose her friends or force her to love math, I ought to be able to control how much love, acceptance and support she gets from me.