Of course you want to be happy for your teenage daughter when you see the sparkle in her eye. The sparkle that shows that she has felt the stirrings of love, or whatever you call the feelings of a teenage romance. You remember those times not that long ago that you held her as she cried, and told her that she IS pretty and smart and funny, and that a boy WILL want her to be his girlfriend, and he will want to be her boyfriend. And you told her that she shouldn't base how she feels about herself on whether a boy is interested in her. She doesn't need that validation. But you knew she didn't believe you. You actually knew exactly how she felt because it seems like not that long ago that you felt that way too. It seemed that everyone around you had a boyfriend, but it just wasn't your time. And you wondered if it would ever be.
But now you see her sparkle and you notice her smiling and laughing a lot more, and you know that this is her time. And you are happy for her and you are scared. Scary, unpredictable, tumultuous, passionate teenage love. You want to throw up all the warning signs (and vomit as well): Proceed with caution, go slow, danger ahead, beware of the bumpy road...And you talk to her about some of this, and you try to get something out of her, but you know that she will need to navigate this one on her own, and that she will most likely consult with her friends about it, rather than you. You can talk to her about being safe, making good choices, remind her of her (and your) values and staying true to herself. But you know that teenage love can cause teenagers to lose themselves in the throws of this wonderful newfound feeling of infatuation and lust. You know that you did, or at least you wanted to. You pray that she will use good judgment. How very different and scary it is to be mothering your teenage daughter through this frenzied, unpredictable time. Hold on tight and let go.