M seemed sullen to go with Si's friends older sister yesterday, into the pool (and also with Sh, who is Si's mother and M's dad's long-term girlfriend). She likes pool time, brought her favorite suit, has nothing against this girl but they're several years apart in age and don't really relate; this is really Si's playdate time.
As I say in the Irish dance world when people ask if I know this adorable "she looks like she's no more than 5 years old" girl, I just say she's my daughter's sister. (It was fun to enjoy Celtic Fling Feis and watch Si's first preliminary championship level competition, even if her barely 7 year old self competed w/ dancers up to 10 years old.) M was happy to be supportive when she was there watching, and I'm proud of how M did act. Even if she was a bit reluctant at first but I told her she had to. Gorgeous weather, teacher FT was there watching and encouraging, asking me, "Which hip of M's is hurting her?," right when M continued to not have her slap kicks very high. Ends up, she IS injured, and danced better at the Old Dominion Feis (the week previous; now M has a hip point contusion or something). Both girls ended up with similar placements at this feis, albeit a much higher percentage were "placed" (awarded) for Si's competition. M pointed this out just to me, then stayed silent about it, not wishing to diminish Si's moment that could have also been M's. She understands this.
It's harder to understand when M's own parent, her father C, won't watch her dance even when he shows up (the last two feiseanna he attended, he watched only Si's competitions, and never once watched a single one of M's competitions). M notices this, other parents notice this, but for M, mostly, it just plain hurts. Again.
I had agreed to drive M back from the hip hop / Irish dance rehearsal yesterday in part as it meant I had some extra time with her and could watch her rehearsal which I like to do. I get to interact w/ other parents, and know what M's thinking and feeling about the piece and how it's going for her. It's funny to hear the dancers descriptions, this is a vulture and this move like a monkey, and we have prairie dogs and........ other animals. It helps them laugh at this difficult complicated piece, that actually is looking like it'll be real good. Her dad, C, and the girlfriend, Sh, refused to have M have any activities during "their" time w/ M this summer, yet she won a spot on this piece via audition. She was excited about this, and it's part of what is keeping her in the performance dance company this year. If they're insisting she can only do this with switched time yet again (cue eyeroll), I will be supportive of M and share in this with her to an extent.
Enroute to the pool handoff ("I hate feeling like a piece of luggage,") she'd had a call with Al and a mutual girlfriend J from their former school. He's been in town visiting his dad for a lot of the summer, at first hanging with M yet now technically dating J's friend, who is now also a friend of M's, but eh something's not letting me know the full story. It's okay that I don't, I think. Even if she and Al are still close, talk a lot, go to movies and dinner he has started paying for. Also, he can get unintentionally pushy for their interpersonal styles differ. She deserves better but who am I to say; I'm "just" mom :) so I just remind her that she has a right to have a voice and be respected.
Me's also enjoyed more time with a best friend. This girl's also 15 (M will be within the week). Best friend who I've heard several times when no one remembered I could overhear or happen to see w/out trying to pry, is considering lesbianism, trying it out for herself with at least one relationship that's ended w/ her crushed. I see M and best friend hug each other, share secrets like close friends do, anyway. And I know M either will be a lesbian or won't be, or will be bisexual (she's too into guys, though, I think, to ever not have a continued interest in them, and I think in overhearing things that M and best friend are not romantic), and I just don't care. I want M happy, and their relationship is useful and helpful for both girls. They really benefit from each other.
And, with all the teenage angst she has, with all else I'm going through (serious work crisis; E and I are doing great), with the effect her relationships and a sickness had on her final grades and her emotional breakdown when she DID tell her dad and Sh that she didn't want to go there one last minute day and they, well, did get very mad about it, gosh.
Isn't that, ultimately, really, what everyone wants for his or her child, for said growing teenager into young adult "child," to simply feel loved, have at least one close friend to share secrets and angst, and to be HAPPY? I don't want her sullen; I want her to feel good about herself, I want her to stay loving her dance or whatever else she wishes to pursue that fits in, I want her respected and loved, to be healthy, and there is just too daggone much else going on in this world to be concerned about what gender a potential mate is; push comes to shove, and I just don't care. I want her HAPPY.