Teenagers Are From a Different Planet

Oh to be 16 again….NOT
It’s up, it’s down, you’re great, you suck, you are the worst host family ever (sorry Becca Nichols – you are no longer the worst host family)! Followed by the most words I’ve heard the whole week shouted at us ( in Latvian) from under the covers. We suspect it wasn’t a friendly good night.
That was the tuck in, affirmation reading, hugs all around , mushy, lovey-dovey moment I was waiting for. I need to understand the workings of the 16 year old mind. Having been a 16 year old (God bless my mother) it’s never going to make sense at least not until you’re 49. 
Tonight , Daniela told Phil about how boring her day was how she stared at the four walls, how all the other families are having nonstop fun and excitement and we are the only ones not doing anything. I was wounded that she skipped the fun parts like the laughter over the Hawaiian pizza making tonight, our shopping trip, the cute red keds. I was angry that she refused the offer to go to the pool or the movies. I asked if she wanted to learn to knit or crochet. “Uggh” and an eye-roll was the response. Did she forget our chat about Kenny – the boyfriend it Latvia? I explained how we are going to the beach for a full week, going to NYC over the weekend and will have multiple chances to go to NYC and that not every day was filled with long drives to other States. We had the medical appointments to handle today and there is plenty of time.
I need to understand that is “ok” to say no. Teaching what a healthy family looks like may not always be met with warm hugs and yippy – skippy.
I don’t know much about Daniela but this is what I do know from a few short days with her: She is smart; She is stubborn as a mule; She has a killer smile and a goofy sense of humor; She is organized and likes to plan; She is very used to going out with her friends and they are not here; She carries a deep sorrow and doesn’t know what to do with that stuff. 
I do not like that she is standing in her own way, but I need to respect her journey. I can encourage her and love her. I can be honest with her and I can set an example of a woman who somehow miraculously survived life past 16.
Girls are very scary, just saying.
She did say pineapple, tomato juice and I think some curse words in Latvian.
God I love this girl, help us reach her…maybe by day 7? Just saying.
PS On a good note, the dentist trip went well – only two small cavities but the dentist recommended a lot of orthodontia work.  The braces, teeth extraction and implants will have to be done in Latvia.  Up until the meltdown at the end there was a lot of great communication and bonding – who knew she had a tongue piercing and had a boyfriend named Kenny?

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