Many of you may not be aware of this, but a number of years ago, I lost my daughter. It happened rather gradually, but I realized with dismay that the loving, sweet, winsome, happy child that I'd known had disappeared. In her place was a budding adolescent with attitude. This new girl was grumpy, mean, easily-offended, moody, hard to live with, and most of all -- she thoroughly disliked her mother. Me. That was about four or five years ago.
I always knew it might happen, and when it did, I told myself that my daughter was still in there somewhere. I told myself that for about two or three years. Then I wondered if the change were permanent. I was sad. I wanted my daughter back.
And then, about six months ago, I noticed slight improvement. And about a month ago (maybe less?), finally, she was back. She's cheerful, smiley, positive. And she gives me unsolicited hugs. That hadn't happened in I-don't-know-how-long.
So, as an encouragement to any of you moms out there with daughters about to head into that dark maelstrom of puberty: hold tight. The daughter you love will return to you. Try not to do any permanent damage to the relationship, but at the same time don't make any dire concessions. When the storm is over, she'll emerge from the shadows, smile, and say, "Hi, Mom!"