On the Troll Under the Bridge


I have a very dear friend, and her daughter is my daughter’s oldest and best friend.

When I saw my friend today, I knew something was wrong. “These teenage years…” and her voice trailed off.

The details are hers but the message is for all mothers of teenage daughters. I couldn’t help but reflect on the folktale, “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”.

We are “the grass” on the other side of the bridge-inviting them to come to us, to stay connected, to grow in unity.   To get there, they must exert their independence and outwit the Troll. “The Troll” is self doubt, anger, and the bumpy, blister filled walk between the worlds of childhood and adulthood.

This morning, it was “The Troll” that had ahold of my friend’s daughter. Other days, it is “The Troll” who has my daughter. We are still the green, lush grass…waiting, waiting, and beckoning.

Some might argue we are the withered, trampled grass they are trying to escape. I think if we are growing with them (as parenthood gives us the opportunity to do), we are the grass inviting them to adulthood.

It hurts to wait some days.


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