I spend a lot of my time wondering if I am acting more like a 12 year old or maybe a 15 year old. Sometimes I'm right in line with Henry actually. He's 23 months.
My best friend Neda and I used to joke about our age when we were in college as we giggled uncontrollably about some joke involving a potty or the word poo-poo. And then we would graduate from our junior high antics when we started staring at what someone was wearing, or maybe correcting someone's use of an incorrect past participle. But did we ever leave high school? Do any of us?
I thought when I left Homewood High that I was getting away from pressures to be in certain cliques and clubs or friends with the creative crowd. Now I'm almost 30 years old and I read every word in US Weekly and People magazine to see what the popular crowd is doing and wearing. I even read what they ate for lunch. And remember their birthdays.
I go to story time at the library once a week with Henry and Svea and I watch which moms talk to each other and which children gravitate towards each other. I watch cliques form at the LIBRARY STORY TIME. Unbelievable.
I watch American Idol so I can freely criticize others' talents and clothes. I watch Grey's Anatomy and ER and House so I can dream about being a doctor when I am finally grown up. I watch Lost to learn survival skills just in case on my way to being an adult something happens and I need mad adaptation skills. I am so still in high school.
I've been re-reading some of my favorite Lynda Barry comics (see the link added on the side). Her description of the tragic teenage years is so poignant there are times when I wonder if I'm just invited into her memory for a minute, or if she knows about mine. And then I start to worry. I worry for Henry, of course, because he will always be first. But Svea, my heart breaks for sweet Svea because I know what it's like to be a girl in junior high and high school. I'm already hating those years for her and helping her through break-ups and "mean girl" episodes and body image crises. She doesn't even have a tooth yet and still doesn't sleep through the night - AND THIS IS WHAT I WORRY ABOUT?
Until we reach that dreaded phase, I guess I'll keep reading my People and watching my TV shows...honing my skills to help my children. Yes, that's exactly what I'm doing...honing much-needed survival skills for the sake of my offspring. "I said it's great! to be! a Homewood Patriot! It's great! to be! a Homewood Patriot! It's great..."