I woke up suddenly and early, very early for a Saturday and the thought that shook my mind awake was: The Beast will be 14 next year!
I was 14 when I had my first boyfriend. And even though I was a late bloomer—I am praying that The Beast will be an even later bloomer.
Actually I still am a late bloomer…slow to get a boyfriend, reluctant to finish college, vague in my career, unhurried to get married, late having a child, but suddenly everything is going fast. I hear that as we get older we do the same things over and over again so one day blends into the next and one year melds with the next and thus time seems to go fast when in fact—we are just doing the same things over and over again so our life stretches into one long continuously playing loop—until you are jolted awake by a revelation.
I clearly remember the excitement of 14—which, mind you, had nothing to do with the incredibly self-centered boyfriend I had. It was the year that my friends and I went off on a two week bike trip around Cape Cod, on our own, with no adult supervision. We got lost, we fought, we turned a dark shade of tan, lived in youth hostels, and we had best time ever. Ms. Filmmaker still goes back on occasion to that youth hostel on the dunes of Truro because it was such a beautiful place.
Things are different now—kids seem to grow up more quickly in many ways, but in other ways they live in a bubble of parent/school protection. The thought of sending The Beast off to Cape Cod with just a bicycle, some cash and a few traveler checks would not cross my mind—yet we were able to convince three sets of parents that everything would be just fine. And it was.
I am hoping that The Beast is a late bloomer too. She is too beautiful, too soulful, too thoughtful to rush into the complexities of boyfriends. If she rushes anywhere, I hope it is towards her own adventures and passions with her friends.