Remember comedian Bill Cosby's saying, "I brought you into this world and I can take you out"? I had one of those moments on Sunday when my 13-year-old decided to act like a teenager and test my limits. And boy did she test my limits!
Let me give you some background information. My husband and I have not been the best at getting to church. We've gone off and on for the past 19 years we've been married. Some years we're great and consistent, other years we've enjoyed being at home a little too much. Of course, this has not been in the best interest of our children. Hey, I never claimed to be perfect.
The last two weeks we've been getting visits from people in our home ward. We just moved into the neighborhood back in October so they wanted to invite us to church. We were visited by one person in the ward along with my husband's uncle, then we were visited by the Young Women's president (since we have three Young Women living in our household), and finally we were visited by the "Big Three", the bishop and his two counselors. In a rare moment of togetherness, my husband and I agreed it was time to stop messing around and get our children back to church. We both grew up going to church. In fact, my mom would not let you miss church unless you were on your death bed! In all my years growing up, I think I missed church less than five times. And at the time, growing up in American Samoa, pretty much EVERYONE went to church. That was what we did on Sundays. SO we decided, unanimously (or so we thought), that we would start going on Sunday. No more excuses. Why wait? Jump in with both feet!
Church doesn't start until 11:00 in the morning so we had plenty of time to wake up, eat breakfast, get ready, and be on time for classes. I get up, cook, and while the kids are eating breakfast, I instruct them to finish eating then get ready. My 13-year-old asks, "Do I have to go?" Automatically my face takes on my "mom" look and I answer a simple, "Yes." That should have been my red flag, a sign, a kick in the teeth that all was NOT right on this bright Sunday morning. Five minutes later, she is still sitting at the table (she had finished eating) and I went to my usual, "What did I tell you to do?" When my children were younger, I would always say, "I should only have to tell you to do something once. If I have to tell you more than that, we're going to have issues." So, the dark clouds in my head are beginning to cover my peaceful Sunday bliss. My 13-year-old goes upstairs and everyone is getting ready. Including her dad who played music the night before and didn't come home until very late. Even HE got up to get ready. When it was time to start moving out the door, I go into her room and this child, this 13-year-old teenaged being, is still in her pajamas. You know those movies where someone is possessed and their eyes turn completely black? I think that's what happened to mine because I growled, "You have FIVE minutes to get ready" in one of those evil, Damien, exorcist voices.
Everyone else gets into the car and I walk to the room again and this child IS STILL IN HER PAJAMAS. Not only that, she tells me, "I'm not going." Aca-scuse-ME??? My inner Madea comes out and I swear this child is going to taste the rainbow! I walk out to get my belt and this physical monster that looks like my daughter but has lost her damn mind closes her bedroom door and SITS against it to block me out. My mouth drops open, my head spins around on my neck, and I walk out to the car where my husband and normal children are waiting. I tell my husband, "Either you go in there or I'm taking her OUT!" He stared at me and my other children were in complete shock. I don't think they have ever seen me so angry!
I walk back into the house and push open the bedroom door. As I'm doing this, I'm telling my daughter I have almost 100 pounds over her so how in the hell does she think she can block the door? I got into the room and let me tell you, this child lucked out. The powers of Jesus, Heavenly Father, Zeus, the strength of Thor, Valhalla, Tagaloa, and every single godly being and place in the universe spared her life that day and kept me from beating the living daylights out of her. When I asked what her problem was she replied, "It's called puberty." Eh, aikae lou puberty and GET READY FOR CHURCH! Gone is the peace. Gone is the happiness. Gone is the serenity. As she sat on her bed and I threw her clothes from the closet, I told her she has choices. I've always given them choices. Her choices for this Sunday?
Choice 1: Get ready for church
Choice 2: I can beat the hell out of you and you can get ready for church and get there looking tore up.
We started with Choice 2 but she was smart (most of the time she is very smart) and reverted back to Choice 1.
When we finally got into the car, all I said was, "Jesus needs to take the wheel because I AM DONE." My husband spoke with this 13-year-old child of the corn twice, once before we left for church, and again when we got home and were changing our clothes to go out to eat. He spoke of respect, the importance of church, apologized that we haven't been the best examples, and told her to never do that again. EVER! Before she went to bed that night, I called her into my room and asked her, "What was going through your mind this morning?" (Translation: Have you lost your ever loving MIND?) She apologized for her behavior and said she would not act like that again. I asked if we were going to have issues every Sunday and she said no. (Translation: Do you have a weekly death wish?) Being a mother for 17 years and having this type of incident pop up now, I guess I should be grateful. I mean, she has two older sisters who could have done the same thing. In fact, they could still go off the deep end at one point or another. But they haven't. Until now. And only with this one child. Which makes me wonder. Are the powers of the universe strong enough to keep me sane through these teenage years??? Help me, Bill Cosby!