Mothers of pubescent girls know why animals sometimes eat their young.
There is a very good reason why nature wants you to have your kids in your late teens. It's when you're most fertile, and biology thinks you're in your optimum range. I waited till I was thirty before I even started trying, and then battled infertility for five years after that. Anna was born five days before my thirty-sixth birthday, and now I find myself in a completely untenable position:
I have a daughter going through puberty while I am in the throes of periomenopause.
Not a good scenario. At all.
I imagine our hormones like great, jagged bolts of invisible lightening, bouncing off the walls, striking indiscriminately and frying everything in our path. We seems to collide with each other in great shrieking, chaotic attacks that leave us both wailing and gnashing our teeth. Then ten minutes later we're under the covers in my bed giggling at Family Guy and declaring that we'll be best friends forever.
It's completely nuts.
And we both know that. We even get to the point now where one of us will be screeching like a lunatic, throwing shoes and red in the face, when the other one suddenly shrugs and says "are we done fighting yet?" Most of the time, that breaks the ice and we are done. For now. We laugh about our hormones and her growing up and me growing old, and we talk through the things we couldn't say without shouting a few moments before.
It's an imperfect system, to be sure, but it's working for us, on some weird level. I consider heated conversations with my pre-teen daughter a cardio workout now. I'm sure it's a stretch to call it healthy, but when it's all vented and done and resolved, it feels that way.
It really does.