The signs increased, and at the latest when my daughter ironed her blouses herself as a matter of course, I realized that I couldn't go on like this.
It all became more and more drastic: volunteering to look after your little brother, hanging up the laundry yourself, looking for a weekend job, taking the empty shampoo bottles to the used plastic, brushing the dog’s teeth, putting on boots instead of sneakers when the temperature is below zero, putting on a hat , emptying the dishwasher, going to bed at 11 p.m. because "the body needs more sleep in winter".
Last weekend I snuck into her room after 11:30pm to "catch" her watching netflix and was surprised by the darkness and even breathing. She did what she promised. She was sleeping. It was amazing. I stood in front of her bed and looked at her. This perfect, wonderful, tall person who had become what he wanted.
As a teenager I had primarily tried to please my parents, to make them happy, to make them proud. I questioned myself and got to know myself and my needs much later.
It must have been exhausting for my daughter to defy, doubt, and boycott my rules and commandments. Making your own way through the thicket is more difficult than following the trampled on.
She was always out with a machete at the ready, and I often got in her way and got a few cuts. They always heal quickly but hurt immediately after she inflicted them on me.
If I said today that we got through puberty well together, I would be lying. I often felt sorry, pulled my hair out, cried for the loss of my dear little girl that hormones had driven away, felt left out, redundant, betrayed and heartbroken.
We kept drifting apart. Like a big ship with a small dinghy in tow. Sometimes the dinghy went in the opposite direction, further away, always, always further. A few times it went out of sight. But the rope that connected the ship and the boat held. The big ship could have caught up with the rope at any time to pull the boat back towards itself. The boat could have cut the rope at any time and sailed off to great freedom. But neither of them touched the rope. It was just always there.
My puberty is now a young adult, there is no more material to fill this column. After four and a half years at stern.de I say "Adieu" and "Thank you."
My advice to all parents who are afraid of losing their children to puberty:
Trust in the rope between ship and boat. It lasts a lifetime.