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by Angela Marie Calabrese


I’ve come to the conclusion that the only two times my teenage daughter is semi-civilized to me is when 1) She needs me to take her to a concert, or 2) She is just coming out of a deep sleep and is still not totally awake and coherent.

While milking that special minute the other morning when no harsh words flew between mom and daughter, I reached a revelation. If I could only find a way to extend that minute, every mother of a teenager would be ever grateful to me! It would literally change life as we know it!

If I could figure out (with perhaps some help from those sleep specialists) how to extend this semi-conscious delightful state, I would be able to converse joyfully with my daughter and experience none of the caustic, defensive conversational lilts that full waking moments seem to perpetuate. There has not been a recent conversation that doesn’t end up being either a shouting match or a ‘know-it-all’ condescending speech (on her end, not mine). If I could sustain that window of opportunity to at least one to two hours per morning, I could perhaps salvage my sanity as well until she turns 19 or 20 and becomes human once again (that’s what I’ve been told by mothers of older children anyway).

During this twilight state of being, my daughter becomes docile, yielding, and honest in an adorable, cuddly kind of way. She doesn’t react but rather lucidly answers my questions in pure abandonment wearing only a half -smile and enveloping velour blankets. Almost coming out of slumber, she is relaxed, unpretentious, and ever so pliable. I would sit at the edge of her bed and chat about this and that and she would respond in a sweet and calm demeanor, never raising her sleepy little voice. My blood pressure would stabilize and I would be ready to face my daily challenges, recharged and composed. Our household would rejoice. Life would be good.

I’m wondering if those few precious moments that occur right before the day begins really can be extended just a little bit longer so mothers across the globe could feel contentment to start their hectic day with a dose of child-like innocence and unadulterated sweetness. Where mother and child would bond like they used to with no friction, no harsh tones, no turmoil — just peace. There would be a give and take in the conversing and both parties would feel satisfied.

So, again, today, I take full advantage of that magic moment, when nothing comes between teenager and mom, except sleepy phrases and carefree remarks. This will have to hold me over until a future time where mother and daughter can stay awake in perfect harmony.

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