Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Am I Living My Life Vicariously?

Okay, folks, I'm going to toss this out and see what you think ... and be honest with me, I'm a big girl and I can take it!

While visiting my mother yesterday after my doctor's appointment, she made mention of the fact that one of my cousins said that I was reliving my teenage years through Amanda (I guess that would be that whole 'living one's life vicariously through someone else' thing) because of the concerts that we go to, etc. Least ways, I think that's what she might have meant.

Being the over-thinker that I am, when my mother tells me this sort of thing I have to analyze it from every possible angle to see if there's any truth to it. Which, of course, is what I've been doing! So - let's see ... I have taken Amanda to three concerts this year - a My Chemical Romance concert, the Projekt Revolution Tour, and most recently to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra (of which I might add there were probably more people my age than Amanda's at); I have learned how to play Guitar Hero II; and dressed up like an Emo kid for Halloween; I have taken Amanda shopping at Hot Topic on several occasions; and I'll even admit to listening to some of the bands that she likes including HIM, Panic at the Disco, AFI, The Used, and sometimes - when I'm feeling really adventurous - Mindless Self Indulgence.

I have not dyed my hair some strange off-the-wall color like Amanda has on more than one occasion and neither do I wear black eyeliner or eye shadow that makes me look like a zombie. I don't write on myself with Sharpie pen nor do I wear band shirts on a constant basis. Sure, I do on occasion but I've always done that and seriously, who hasn't? Yes, I send text messages to friends, I have a MySpace page and a Facebook page, and I've had a Monster drink a time or two but am I reliving my teenage years through my daughter by doing those things?

I don't know, I thought I was taking an active interest in my daughter's life but maybe to some people it would seem that I am trying to relive or, better yet, rewrite my own teenage years. Maybe I'm trying to do all the things I didn't do when I was a teenager by doing them through, or with, Amanda but I just never saw it that way. Maybe I just haven't been seeing it right.

Thoughts, anyone?


  1. How is that not just adapting to the times? And I don't think it's such a bad thing to enjoy your kids' youth and keep up with them, as long as you're not trying to hang out with the in crowd :)

  2. My first what? Who wants to grow up?

    My second, more mature and serious, you're not. You take an active interest in what your kid is doing.

    If you were reliving your teenage years you'd be blowing off work to do the things you've been doing with your daughter. You don't do that.

    I think it's perfectly ok for a single parent to have this kind of relationship with their kid. Amanda isn't in trouble with drugs or the law. She respects you and other authority. She's not taking advantage of you...any more so than any other teenager tries to do with a parent or parents.

    If I may say, and I mean no disrespect to your mom, I think that she is operating from her own generation's perspective about a parent-child relationship. And it's making you think, because you're already primed to think about societal definitions regarding turning that slightly intimidating age you have noted in your birthday countdown.

    The only thing that stops us from having the fun we're entitled to have is perception about how we should behave.

    That's my 2 cents adjusted for inflation.

  3. Travis wrote most of what I am thinking.

    Being a Mommy....most of the time a single one at that (two girls almost 20 and almost 26 and a boy 17) I am just as involved as you...not so much with the oldest as she is kinda grown up...but when she lived at home totally.

    Have you ever seen Gilmore Girls? That is my life in many ways.

    Women (and men) "our" age are much more likely to enjoy current culture than other generations.

    AS long as you don't start dating men 20 years younger than's not living her really is living yours.

    keep it don't wear that big ole "M" on your chest for nothing!

  4. Oh darn! Katherine just said we can't date men 20 years younger than we are. She spoils all the fun!

  5. OK, can I be honest with you here?

    Who gives a shit? I mean REALLY!!

    Frankly, your mom (and other stuffy shirts like her) can go live their lives and let you live yours. I mean you're 49 years old...surely somewhere along the way you've earned the right to make your own decisions!
    I was a headbanger at 15, I'm a headbanger at 32 and probably will be a headbanger at 49. So long as you enjoy the things you do the rest is just some psychobabble BS.

    Joy is fleeting in this life. If taking your daughter to concerts brings both of you joy. That's all that matters. And frankly, I think you're a better mom for listening to "her" music. Those who shun in ignorance don't really know what their kids are listening to and that can be dangerous!

    So, in summary.
    Rock on sister!

  6. Anonymous4:05 AM EST

    I don't know what else to say that hasn't already been said! (That should seriously be my catch-phrase! hehe)

    But really, GIMME a break! You're taking an interest in what interests HER! Helping with the dolls, going to concerts and having fun playing guitar hero is an awesome thing for you to do with Amanda, and a fabulous way to connect with her!

    Keep on doing it honey - cuz I think you've got it right! :-)

  7. Yep, what they said!
    I just caught a whiff of jealousy on behalf of your cousin (and that should never have been told to you, with no disrespect to mom intended...).
    I had a friend who came to me to see whether or not her son should attend a certain concert (U2) because she had never heard of them! Of course, this was years ago, but that's how out of touch she was with her kids.
    At Amanda's age, I commend you for attending the concerts with her instead of just opening the door and wishing her good luck. You still maintain authority over her -you're not trying to be her sister or her best bud. You're an outstanding mom, and don't you forget it!!!
    And please, don't give a rat's patootie what other people think! It really doesn't matter.
    Love you,

  8. Anonymous6:17 AM EST

    I think you should dye your hair pink, blast crazy music and most definately date a guy 20 yrs younger. What have you got to lose? With age comes the perception you have to sit back now and watch the world go by. Dont ever grow up cause as soon as you do, your old. Sounds like mommy is jealous and needs to mind her own business.


  9. Anonymous6:17 AM EST

    I think you should dye your hair pink, blast crazy music and most definately date a guy 20 yrs younger. What have you got to lose? With age comes the perception you have to sit back now and watch the world go by. Dont ever grow up cause as soon as you do, your old. Sounds like mommy is jealous and needs to mind her own business.


  10. most of the time i don't know what you are talking about but i am old, probably older than your mom. but if it is fun, go for it honey pie!

    smiles, bee

  11. I know I am old, could not go to those concerts. That is not to say you cannot enjoy them, my parents said that Elvis was should not be shown from the waist down. All things are relevant, if you like it go for it, life is a fleeting moment.

  12. Anonymous9:46 AM EST

    I think you are doing both. Helping out your child and also having a blast. What's wrong with that!? Have fun!

  13. Anonymous9:54 AM EST

    I don't think you are doing anything "wrong" here, in fact, with having three daughters, I look forward to sharing those times with them. I look back on my own childhood and wished that my mom was a little bit cooler and showed some interest in my life. I think you are doing wonderful things with Amanda and you are having fun in the process. Don't change a thing, Linda.

  14. I happen to be one of the lucky ones who has actually met you in person and seen you interact with Amanda.

    This is the most assanine thing I've ever heard. I've also had the pleasure of watching you work, and know that you are extremely professional and responsible.

    You are one of the best mothers I have seen in action, and being interested in what your children are interested in makes you more approachable. I think it speaks volumes about your relationship that Amanda allows (yes, allows) you to take her to concerts. Getting to hang out with her and actually PLAY and have fun is something that most parents miss out on.

    No, you aren't acting out your youth through Amanda. You are enjoying hers with her.

  15. Do you "tag" along with Amanda and her friends to EVERY event possible? I don't think so -at least not from what I've discerned from your writings anyway. Ya know, if you allowed Amanda to attend these concerts just willy-nilly, no adult supervision at all, don't 'cha think that relative would be growling about the lack of supervision, of interest, not being given her then? Me thinks there might just be a tad of jealousy entering into that picture, kid! From what I've observed, you're just trying to be an interested, up-to-date parent, in touch with the times and your teen. Nothing vicarious about that is there?

  16. Well in my opinion all you're doing is being a great Mum to Amanda. But even if you were reliving your youth WHY NOT and what the hell has it got to do with anyone else anyway????

  17. I'm with Travis... who really wants to grow up? I believe that we should have an active part in our children's lives. If it means going to a concert with them the by all means GO!!!

    I DO NOT think that you are trying to relive your teenage years through Amanda. I just wish that Kaitlin and I got along as beautifully as you and Amanda.

    Got any pointers??? ;-)


  18. It sounds like Amanda sees you as a big sister and you two can be more like friends. It's a healthy attitude.

  19. Linda, Linda, Linda
    You are a COOL Mom.

    Amanda is one of the luckiest kids on the planet.

    Like Mags' said - I've seen you interact with Amanda. You're still the mom. But she loves & respects you for being YOU.

    Your cousin is a jealous old FART.

    Oh, and as for dating someone 20 years younger than you: HELL TO THE YEAH, SISTA-FRIEND!

  20. Linda, you are a very cool mom and you take an active interest in your daughter's activities. Amanda is lucky to have you!
    I don't think I would go to certain concerts only because the loudness and brightness would bother me! ;-0
    But I love doing other things with my daughter and I hope she feels the same.

  21. woopsie, forgot to tell you I tagged you with an easy meme.

  22. Anonymous5:42 PM EST

    Don't worry...just enjoy! Life is way too short!

  23. Anonymous10:16 PM EST

    I agree with all your other pals here. I had a closer relationship with my eldest daughter whilst I was a single parent. I do think it's different for our generation of parents - lucky us.

  24. NO, I don't think you're living vicariously through Amanda. For real, I think you're a better mom than most. At least you don't have to worry about where Amanda is at - both physically nor emotinally. What you're doing is healthy. Don't stop being you, but DO continue doing what you're doing.

  25. Anonymous2:40 PM EST

    I work for a morning tv show and we are looking for moms who might live vicariously through their daughters- you would be perfect! Come talk to our expert and tell your story! You can reach me at
    For more info on the show you can check out
    We are taping next Fri 1/25 in NYC and will provide all transportation.


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