Putting my arm around her, I asked, "What's wrong? Why do you seem so far away?"
She answered in typical teenage fashion: Silence.
I tried to make it easy, to coax verbiage out of her like I sometimes wish Dave would do for me (Honey, you're sulking because I didn't notice your dress. Is that it? Getting better at this mind-reading thing, aren't I?)
I asked Anna, "Is it me?"
"Is it anyone in this house?"
"Is it something you did?"
More shaking of the head.
"Do you just need more lovin's?" That's usually it. But not this time.
"Honey, you know you can tell me anything."
She furrowed her brow and huffed. I knew she had something to say. Suddenly she burst into tears and I thought, This is serious. (Because not only does that side of the family have well-rounded buns, but they are normally very emotionally even-keeled.) This is the day my daughter is going to tell me that she is running a meth lab out back. Or dating a pedophile. Or wants to pierce her tongue. (Even mothers of the most angelic children have these kinds of thoughts flash through their minds in such moments.)
I braced myself. Maybe it won't be so bad. She wants to be a nun. Or join the army.
"It's Ferdy!" she sobbed. "He likes the P--'s pond better. He has friends over there and he's been lonely since Dorothy left and I miss him!" The snot was flowing now.
"This is about a duck?" I supressed a chuckle. "I mean, this is about your duck!"
I hugged her tightly, grateful for a problem that could easily be solved with a quick trip to Craigslist. After a few minutes of browsing through listings of five-dollar Pekins, laying hens and pedigreed rabbits, Anna jumped up and went to bake cookies.
What about you? Have you squeezed your teen today?