Merry belated Christmas, Mom!
I love you!
Today I ordered Amazon to send my mother this message with a gift-wrapped copy of The Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn, a book that she will probably be less than thrilled to receive from me. Years ago, when we were still on speaking terms, I showed it to her. She couldn't abide its "arrogant" denunciation of the compulsion-based school system through which she had worked so hard.
Aah yes, there was that word again: arrogant. That was the word that drained me of self-confidence and self-respect in my teens. That was the word for me whenever I dared contradict an elder on absolutely anything. I was younger, with fewer years of life experience, therefore I automatically lost every argument. What did I know about anything at all, even my own basic tastes and preferences? Thus do young people get treated as the new n-word of American society. (I'm not a racist; I'm just swearing.)
A few days ago, she left a voicemail expressing hope that we might reconcile. For now, that book is my only answer. Chomp on it, Mrs. Families-Are-Not-Democracies! Youth rights now!