By Melissa Kinsley

A tropical storm has hit our house. It strikes without warning with full force and torrential downpours. Thankfully, it doesn’t last long but it strikes frequently. Ah, the joys of having a tween.

Out of nowhere my usually confident and self-reliant 11-year-old bursts into tears, throws math books and storms out of the room yelling that she is stupid and will never get through middle school. I knew that this storm was coming but I was not prepared for it to strike so soon. I thought for sure it would hit around 13. Eleven is way too early to have to weather teenage force storms.

None of my friends seem prepared for the tears and outbursts either. In fact, we talk about it often trying to gain some secret insight that will help us all help our daughters better contain the storm of hormones raging within each of them. As moms, we are wired to protect our kids and help them face problems head on. But, the erratic emotional storms puzzle us all and the solution seems elusive if not impossible.

During last night’s storm prepping for a science quiz, the solution hit me smack in the face. At the risk of having to turn in my “Mom Card,” maybe moms aren’t meant to solve this problem. Maybe the best I can hope for is to batten down the hatches and ride it out when it hits. Maybe the key is to be the calm in the storm. Maybe I need to let go and not even try to solve the insolvable. Maybe, just maybe, I need to shift from “problem solver” to “soft landing” to be the most help to my daughter right now.

Boy, growing up sure is hard for this mom sometimes.

Can you relate?

*Photo Credit: Kathy Miller at One Shot Photography