Right on cue, my 12-year-old is looking for independence.
As with any effort toward independence, the thick of the struggle is nothing to celebrate. Like colonies breaking away from a mother country, both sides state their positions frequently and loud. We’re all left to wonder if anyone else is listening.
In our case, declarations of allegiance or sovereignty are rarely well received. The mother country would prefer that the situation not spiral completely out of control. I want to maintain peace and prosperity for one and all, preferring everyone to remain civil.
Still, battles are fought.
Even the battles are not the orderly affairs this mother would prefer. My 12-year-old daughter, Greer, is developing guerilla warfare tactics rebels so often use. The occasional sniper attacks hurt.
In true form, both sides are looking for allies.
My husband and only solid ally says her bedroom is a scene any Hollywood-set designer tasked with recreating what it would look like if there had been a disastrous explosion at an over-stocked Goodwill store would want to replicate. Her bedroom has been the major cause of discord between my primary ally and our home’s rebel camp.
The bedroom is, without question, reminiscent of trench warfare. Booby-traps are strategically positioned. Clothes bombs have exploded in every direction. In efforts to keep my ally content, I do what I can to build resolution between the two and improve living conditions for one and all. I encourage my daughters to think of cleaning their rooms as their obligation to the Crown, consider it a sort of tax, if you will, for food and shelter. The room is such a sticking point and battle ground that even though Greer generally sees her younger sister, Piper, wearing a red coat, there are moments when they both join the rebellion.
On a few occasions when I’ve asked my pre-teen to clean her room, she has persuaded her younger sister to take the role of Paul Revere. Walking toward her bedroom to inspect the quarters, I’ve heard Piper screaming, “Mom’s coming. Mom’s coming.”
With no Hessian re-enforcement, when I make my way to her territory, it’s as if there is a “Don’t tread on me” flag standing proud in the corner right beside the Taylor Swift poster.
While both sides profess to use the Common Sense approach, we interpret the mindset from two different perspectives.
There are moments when I see give-me-liberty-wheels turning in her eyes. Maybe she sees the issue as taxation-without-representation. I’m willing to compromise. I believe we both want to work toward peace. If a treaty will do the trick, I’m up for it.
Even though she often sees me as the enemy, the truth is that I’m rooting for her. In the throes of this revolution, my goal is to stay the course and maintain diplomatic relations.
History tells us the American Revolutionary War lasted about eight years. I fear the revolution in our home has just begun and could last as long. The bottom line is we all know which side eventually wins.