There’s a lot of angst in being thirteen. There are pimples. There are boys. There are boobs, the lack thereof, periods, the lack thereof, and bangs that absolutely must stand six inches tall and curl just-like-so.
I think of my daughter turning thirteen and I die a little inside. I die a little for me and how our relationship will change. I die a little for her and how much she’ll analyze her social status, hair, nose. I die for my husband who might not be the only man in his little girl’s life anymore and I die for her brother who will not understand PMS or fifteen hour phone calls. But mostly I die because she will do things that I will never know about until she grows up, creates a blog, and I find it.
The following story is part of this Friday’s Flashback, “What memory/story from your youth (or childhood) - if any - would you never share with your own children? Why? And if there’s nothing from your history that you wouldn’t have them know, why is that?” as brought to you by Catherine and Tracey.
Being thirteen in Houston, Texas is probably like being thirteen anywhere. Teenagers snuck out at night, went down the road to their friend’s house and walked to the High School to make out or smoke. I was such a Good Girl growing up that I never initiated these things myself, but followed by best friend in 8th grade like an eager sidekick so when she started sneaking out at night to go smoke cigarets with the hot guys down the street, naturally, I followed.
One night I remember hanging out with Matt’s sixteen year old brother. Oh, the hair gel and up-turn polos! He was F-I-N-E. Like, TOTALLY RAD. Awesome. And we loved him. So when he asked if we wanted to drive his dad’s car we nodded in awe and hopped in. My Best Friend was up in front driving the stick down a long dirt road while I sat in the back counting the minutes until my turn. We went faster and faster, two thirteen year old girls and one hot older man down the dirt road. It was exhilarating. It was horrifying. It was a rite of passage.
We returned the car, snuck back home, left our muddy shoes in the bushes out in front of her window and crawled back in bed gasping for breath and giggling. Of the handful of times we snuck out, this one remains, quite possibly, the most memorable.
Shortly after this we moved to Washington and I never snuck out again.
My daughter will have these stories and I will never know. I will not tell her these stories either. I will share most everything else, every other part of me, but these I will keep to myself, hidden safely on my public web site. Why? Because I am a Mom now. Because my Mom did the same things when she was young and I never knew. Because it’s a rite of teenagers everywhere to have those secrets, those tiny pieces of self that a handful of people know, to survive, mature, grow, and look back and nod “how youthfully stupid.”
But mostly because I want to remember what it’s like to be thirteen sometimes. I only have ten years left. And it makes me die a little inside.
*** If you want to play along, please copy and paste the participants and put your name at the bottom in your post so others can include you as well. **
10 guests here now.
Oh the days of sneaking out! You could not pay me to be a teenager again. Posted my Flashback as well. Happy weekend!
By Kat on 2008 04 18
I played, but as usual I’m late to the party. You know me…always wanting to make a big entrance only to end up showing when the party is over.
By Christine on 2008 04 18
You’re lucky to have 10 years.
I only have 6.
Thanks for the bonus panic attack, I needed that!
By Jane @ Kidzarama on 2008 04 19
“Hidden safely on my public website” Ha!
By AMomTwoBoys on 2008 04 19
Great story… I remember sneaking out, too. The only reason not to tell me kids is they need to come up with that stuff on their own. It’s cheating to tell them all the tricks for free!
Your little girl is adorable - she looks so much like you.
By Sarcastic Mom, aka Lotus on 2008 04 19
I was never one for sneaking out. Tried it once, got caught… never again.
Fortunately, TheWife was an excellent sneak and I think just about any trick our daughter might try… she has already covered.
So, for our little one to be sneaky… she is going to have to work real hard at it.
By JayMonster on 2008 04 21