So I’m currently watching 3 beautiful girls…I think the census calls them Tweens, or as I might rename this age group Generation-my-hormones-are-out-of-control-and-running-my-life-Y.
Let me first start by saying: tweens? Hat’s freaking off. I dont remember it being this challenging to be a kid. But then, I was a kid when facebook didnt exist, where if you had a peanut allergy too bad, where text messaging was non-existent and you had to pray your mom did not pick up the phone when you were talking to your crush. Where curfew was “when it got dark.” Where Blossom was a role model (both for her dancing skills and exciting hats) And if you really REALLY had to get a hold of someone you would beg your friend to pull over and find a payphone, and you promised to throw in extra gas money for any extra mileage that mission would incur.
And these kids arent even driving yet. Dear lord.
Now these are 3, absolutely beautiful girls. And I think they know it, because they have amazing parents that support them completely, but at the pace that these kids are living, for even the strongest kid, it’s tough out there!
Co-habitating with 3, eleven to twelve year olds is truly like being in another land. It’s boys, and hair, and nails, and lots of noises like this “eeeeeeeee” and “o.m.geeeeeeee” If you are ever confused about how to talk to a tween just put multiple e’s on the last word you have said.
And so comes my personal confession, I pray to the lord when I have a baby, it’s a boy. I say this not for any discriminatory purposes other than: I do not have the skill set to support girls in the things that are important to them (until they are about 16 then I got it). Example.
Tween 1: good-morning Lyndsey, you sure are drinking that coffee quickly.
Me: smiling, yes, I sure am.
T1: Im devastated because today in school I dont have a group to walk with, and I have to sit alone in the auditorium, and Owen said that he like Maddie not me, and lunch yesterday was super gross, I really hope its better today, and my nails came out really good, didnt they, eeeeee I just love them. And oh hey, could you help me braid my hair?
Me: actually no, I cant.
T1: really? (looks shocked)
Me: yes really, I actually have no idea how to help you braid your hair, I gotta be honest about that, and if I tried you would look really jacked up, and I dont want to send you to school like that.
(side note, when we were growing up, my mom left for work before my dad and my dad worked nights. Thus when we would shuffle off to school, “doing our hair” consisted of waking our Dad up in the morning who would proceed to put our hair in pony tails while still lying in bed. (he’s not a jerk, he was just tired from 3 hours of sleep, and. he’s a Dad). What this resulted in was a weird, loose side pony tail, which actually put my sister and I ahead of the curve for side pony tails…just about 7 years too early. It didnt help that he was styling our hair from a water bed. But listen this was the 80’s and it was the best it was going to get)
T1: (clearly disappointed) sighs…okay, I guess I’ll have L do it (10-year old sister)
Me: ah yes, that sounds like a much better choice.
T1: But I’m kinda confused….shouldnt you be able to do hair?
Me: Yes I suppose so, why do you say that?
T1: cause you’re asian.
Me: true. Tell me more….
T1: well asian are good at hair, cause they’re smart.
Me: smiling (very much enjoying this theory) I see, what else are Asians good at?
T1: (doesn’t hesitate) Math.
Me: geesh, well I hate to break it to you, but I’m even worse at math than I am at hair.
T1: (gasps) seriously? (please note at this point that T1 is looking at me like my high school math teachers did: very suspiciously) Like that somehow I was secretly holding back my ability to solve proofs and know what to do with a hypotenuse.
Me: well, if it helps, I’m only half-asian, my Dad’s a white guy.
T1: ohhhhh (feeling satisfied with this theory) well you’re still really really pretty, and you kinda look like a buddah with your big pants and your smile.
Me: well if you ever want to throw a ball better than the boys in your class, or learn how to put up a tent quickly and efficiently, you just let me know.
(big giant hug) – end conversation.
So you moms and dads or anyone for that matter that has any interactions with tweens, teens, kiddos, hang in there. And make sure you tell them, actually perhaps you should text them, and let them know how awesome they are.
I am loving this time with these 3-beautiful girls, they are reminding me of what I know to be true: we just all want to be heard.