I see little boys and girls at that awkward stage of being not yet a teen but nowhere near being a cute kid anymore. I find myself holding my breath at the mere thought of my little ones someday hitting that age. I find myself thinking back to my own existence during those mutant years and wonder how I ever survived.
I was an odd little creature. A head full of dark brown banana curls topped with feathered bangs. I remember during 6th grade my mom had pulled back half of that dark horse mane into a giant sunflower barrette, because what’s better than thick dark hair down to your butt then putting a big ass yellow flower on top of it? To match the hair, my dark eyes were encased by dark thick brows. If Encino Man had a baby and she turned 12 that was me. Unlike my 6th grade best friend who had blonde hair, blue eyes and a freckled nose I resembled Toula Portokalos from my Big Fat Greek Wedding. If my memory serves me right Mattel doesn’t manufacture Toula Barbies.
My whole life I’ve had a small mole on my face, for some reason our culture calls these “beauty marks” for a 12-year-old girl this is called “the end of the world”. I remember being completely upset about this thing on my face and my grandma trying to console me. She said to me, “Honey, I have the same thing but just on my upper thigh.” I responded with, “So you’re telling me that you have, what I have on my face, on your butt?!?!”
I also grew up during that era of grunge and R&B when oversized jeans and tiny tops were all the rage. I was obsessed with TLC and would belt out Waterfalls day and night. Though I longed to pair my baggy Mudd jeans with a baby doll top my 6′ 2″ dad would not allow it, instead I remember donning a Cocoa-Cola polar bear sweatshirt with my billowing denim pants on New Year’s Eve my 6th grade year. Yikes.
To make my life even “better” Friends hit the television waves and the Rachael doo became the thing you just did … unless you have thick dark curly hair. But being the rebel I am, I did it anyways and to my horror ended my 6th grade year looking like a preteen Jewish boy on his way to his Bar Mitzvah. (Please see proof in featured photograph, highlighting the cut with awesome sunglasses and Bugs Bunny tee – WTF??)
Thankfully I made it fully through puberty, learned that fads aren’t for everyone, bought a pair of tweezers and gained a sense of humor to deal with growing up. It’s also possible that because of my suffering as a replica of a small cave man during my preteen years that my daughter came out with bright blue eyes, a head of sandy blonde hair and perfect eyebrows. I guess the puberty gods figured I had paid the price enough for two and gave her a get out of “middle school hell” free card.
However, whatever comfort I find with my daughter I am quickly shaken back into a horror of what the future will bring as I look at my two boys who are already laughing and grabbing their penises resembling another type of cave man. 12 years old seems so far yet so close. Puberty?? No thanks.