My DH and I spend so much of our time thinking about our kids, talking to them, and talking to each other about them. And even though we are in our late 40's we clearly remember what it is like to be a teen--that it is not easy-- and just the other day I had a empathetic discussion with our 15 year old, who was sharing his thoughts. Talking to our kids and to DH about things that are teenage-realm related has brought up many memories of mine that I must write about to help process.
From 7th through 12th grade I went to a small, private school (and my NM sent me there as a status thing for her, but I am very glad I went there as it is part of who I am and I still have close friends all these years later). At school we wore a uniform of a plaid skirt and a white, button-up top. It was an all-girls school. Occasionally there'd be a dance. My NM was very strict (she was the ruler in the house and had a long-term boyfriend and after years they eventually married the month I turned 18) and I didn't socialize on weekends as much as most teens did.
When I was 15 or 16 there was a fall dance and my brother may have driven me to the school dance and it was casual, mostly hanging out with my friends and guys we knew that were invited. I think that my brother hung out too as he was fun and my friends liked him platonically and vice versa. Later, around 11:00 p.m. or so my NM showed up, which I think was a surprise because I don't think it was set up that she'd pick me up. And fortunately, at this time there were NOT a lot of kids left at school. I was in the parking lot--along with just a girlfriend or two.
My NM hops out of the car DRESSED IN MY SCHOOL UNIFORM. And as if she is acting in a play she says loudly, but to no one in particular, "HI! I'm here for the dance!" and she is sort of jumping up and down in a perky way, playing her role of a school girl.
My NM was 35 or 36 years old at the time and was a successful (self-employed) business person.. She did not do drugs or alcohol. It was fucked up and freaky. I can't remember if I went home with her or if my brother was still there and I went home with him. I do know that I did not react and left very quickly on the down low. I do know that it was not discussed after that night or if it was then it was brushed off saying that she was just having fun and I never confronted her about it being inappropriate.
I cannot EVEN imagine sitting home as the parent and deciding to "have fun" and go into my child's closet and try on her school uniform and then drive to a school dance (mind you the school was not in the neighborhood--it was a 25 minute drive at best) dressed up in my child's school uniform.
It is so apparent now how this is an example of how she did not think of me as a separate person.