My girls are about to enter the awkward state of life where everything sucks. I was reminded of this by the young men that were at my house this afternoon.
I run the kind of home where all kids are welcome, anytime. I regularly have one or two extra in the AM before school, and up to five in the afternoons. This is great. Some mums work and this lets me keep an eye (and a quiet ear) on all of the goings on.
Some of the children were on laptops and chatting about the social life in their school. Then one of the kids says ‘yeah but Starle had it BAD in high school! HEY! remember the time you got beaten up on your 13th birthday?’ (his mother is one of my friends, I might have shared a few stores in earshot)
Yes, yes i do.
‘And then you got wee’d on?’ Cue much nervous laughter from all of the kids. Yes, how could I forget.
‘And then there was that boy that spit on you every day and then when you graduated he told you that he had always fancied you?’
Uh, yep, got all that memories too, son.
‘And that girl that was always bullied and then you stood for her in your last year and everyone thought you were great even though they worked actively for your daily embarrassment? That bit?’
YES. I REMEMBER. But I am glad that you were listening.
Meanwhile, the two kids who had not heard any of this were RAPT, and staring and a lot of whispered ‘really?’ happened.
It kills me a bit inside to watch my kids enter the pre-teen stage and then go forward. THIS IS SO HARD FOR THEM. Once I made it to 17 I began to grow and learn and be happy, but, fuck me, 11-17 was fucking awful.
None of this was my mothers fault, and what my kids are dealing with is mostly not my fault but it is so, SO HARD to watch them enter into the abyss of adolescence.
I would do it all again ten hundred times to spare them this, but, that would be wrong because one has to pass through the hell-fire of Niflheim to come out awesome on the other side.
I will fight with tooth and nail to make sure that they make it out of this. They will come out educated, mature, unharmed and socially responsible. But it is going to be a huge challenge. I have faced so many hard things in my life, but this one scares the shit out of me. This counts, this is important, and this one..I only have some control over.
And this is the most important fight that I will ever fight. I have to be strong, and knowledgeable and calm, and witty and give spiritual guidance and keep everything together and set a good example and fight the good fight and show them the way.
Most challenging quest ever.
But I did get my otter today! It will make me happy every day!
Even on the kind of day that I go to the shop at 9am and then knock a car and fall over and then I get up, and the alarm sounds and I freak and fall over again. into a puddle.
But I have my otter. Some kinds of solace you only learn with time.
(Hey Manboy! Thanx for the awesome Otter that came today! Perfect!)