My daughter is seventeen.
As if that were not enough of a concern, she also happens to be very independent and intelligent, forceful and (sometimes) headstrong. These characteristics, I suppose, are the gifts I have bequeathed unto her, byproducts of my feminism, my own independent spirit, my education, my Unitarianism, and what have you. Ordinarily these qualities make me proud, but they have their drawbacks, and one of them has become overwhelmingly apparent in the latest battle between mind and emotion over the boy in her life.
She has always professed to be lesbian, which has never bothered me in the least. (In fact, I loved it when she announced it at age 13: my reaction was something along the line of Thank God I won't have to worry about her getting pregnant in high school.) She still professes to be lesbian, but bisexual only in the case of this one boy (which is apparently OK since he claims that he is gay, and therefore the decidedly heterosexual relationship between them falls between the cracks of sexual identity...I assume). They met at camp (thousands of dollars so she can learn independence and I get this?) and have now been seeing each other for two years.
Not quite true: he broke up with her for four months late last year. She spent the time deeply, darkly depressed. And when, finally, he came back, she uttered the words that made me choke on my feminist parenting mantle:
I don't care about anything else in my future, Mom, as long as I'm his.
To the boy's credit, he recognizes that this is amazingly stupid. To her credit, she does too. But what can I do? she says. I can't help what I feel. And I am left with visions of the life she has been trying to create for herself with all of her AP courses and planning slipping away in adolescent romantic fantasy.
So far it's OK. SO far she is still talking aboutt he same solid colleges she was talking about before they got back together. So far his presence is not part of the plan. So far. But she's only a junior. And her emotions appear to have won the battle.My daughter is seventeen