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Puppies And Patience
Mommy Musings 2-9-22

This week we’re going to talk about puppies.

Why puppies?

Well because to be quite honest I’m exhausted by the ugliness and “experts” who seem to have gained so much attention.

It’s quite enough that I have to deal with this with my 14-year-old daughter. Ah yes, mean girls are alive and well and I’m here to tell you, they still pounce on the kind and manipulate the weak.

Sadly, I’ve watched this tear at my girl for much too long. A square peg in a round world, she has found herself on the out more often than not.

Oh sure those like her, are the ones usually adored and admired by adults. Respectful, kind, big hearted, eager and willing. Not to be confused, she is a 14-year-old girl, she like most gives attitude on occasion and is far from perfect; welcome to parenting a teen.

Yet as in person learning has returned, she has become active in school (with much enthusiasm, I might add) and embraced her freshman year, so too have the mean girls.

I’ve never been a fan of the ‘Mean Girl’ – so much so that the movie entitled as such made my skin crawl when it was first released some years ago. Don’t teens have enough to deal with, without the help of the passive, aggressive who are equally insecure?

Yeah, as a mother, try explaining that to a teen, who just wants to be accepted and have a few good friends.

In short, just like a puppy (see what I did there), she’s finding her way. Still a bit shaky on her legs, greeting each new chapter with an abundance of energy yet hesitant when she meets something spooky. Oh yes, the mean girls are most definitely spooky.

So many seem to have the answers for the 14-year-old, just trying to get her legs under herself and be accepted for who she authentically is. Yet how can we?

We are living in a time when children had little to zero contact with others during a formative time. If you are a parent and don’t openly recognize that you are doing a disservice to both you, as well as your child. It’s a tough time to be a mom, even worse; it’s a tough time to be a kid.

Locked away for a year and a half and then released to not just the world, but a high school environment full of testosterone and insecurity.

As a parent, I’m just trying to get my teen to the finish line with as little mental scarring as possible. That’s not drama, that’s absolutely real.

Brave and fearless as she may be, the cattiness and isolation of others still hurts and in many cases is confusing. As a woman and a mother, I’m objective in the approach of helping her understand. In some cases, while no one is deserving of cruel behavior, I try to play devil’s advocate to open her mind just a bit. But the mean girl still preys.

The largest lesson in all of this, aka my primary advice has always been to rise above and go with grace. As my mom used to tell me, kill ‘em with kindness. That’s not always easy. Now even as an adult I find myself simply smiling and nodding when in the company of the mean girl, turned woman. The sad truth is not all outgrow it, yet the rest of us move on.

So this one is for the puppies who just want to be loved, cuddled and accepted. While they may pounce on butterflies with enthusiasm, roll in the grass with joy and just want to be acknowledged for their sweetness at the end of the day they are a life with purpose which just like all the rest deserved celebrating.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 209-847-3021.