I’m heading to the balmy beaches of North Carolina soon, and I’m almost giddy with excitement. I went for the first time, last year, and had an amazing time. C’s family has been going every summer since he was a kid, and I feel honored to be a part of this yearly pilgrimage to relaxation. C jr comes with us, and we all just loll around, get sunburned, and eat.
This summer is already pretty planned out…which hasn’t happened for awhile. I was explaining our travel plans to a friend last night and he says, “Well, that’s your summer, then.” Oh, dear god. Am I alone in feeling like time is hurtling away? And not in a cosmic, shooting star kind of way, but in a Dodge Dart running on fumes at 110 mph kind of way? Occasionally, I’ll have these wee panic attacks about time. My upper arms tingle. I get scowly. I drink Airborne and utter small prayers to the gods of perseverance.
A few weeks ago, I came out of the Arclight to a red carpet welcome for the 30th Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back. Upsetting. Profoundly.
Every time I see C jr she looks that much closer to being a teenager, and dear god that’s terrifying, too. I was talking to someone yesterday about how we moved recently, partially to give C jr a room of her own, with an actual door. (Loft living is magnificant, but rather lacking in privacy.) This person, whom I barely know, seemed pretty sure that once C jr hit puberty, she’d become a kraken. You’re a kraken, I thought, steaming.
Listen, I was a weird teenager. Outwardly, I did all the right things – extracurricular activities out the wazoo, fantastic grades, loved by adults. Inwardly, I seethed and snuck out almost every night to hop on the back of my boyfriend’s motorcyle and sleep at his house. Where there were no parents. He and his older brother lived by themselves. Ideal, no? I was the master of deception!
I don’t believe that the teenage years mandate the person becoming unrecognizable. I happen to know some people (okay, maybe one or two) who didn’t go completely a.w.o.l. from their lives when they hit their teens. But it seems to be a cultural expectation. That MTV doesn’t help. Those hoodlums with their droopy pants and that Lady GooGoo.
So far, C jr has been pretty protected. I say protected, not sheltered. When we lived downtown, we made a point of walking around a lot. There’s a pretty broad swath of folk living in DTLA, and much of it isn’t cosmetically attractive. Which I loved. And which C jr took in and processed in the way kids do – without judgment. C marched with her in a Prop 8 demonstration, and she learned about how compassion and legal recognition are rights. C jr lives, for most of the time, in a rarified community up north. It’s lovely, and it gives me the creeps. But she isn’t allowed to watch that Hannah Montana Banana Crap-o-rama, and that’s what I mean by protected.
C and I tread the fine line of information vs overload with C jr. When the immigration marches were happening downtown, we talked about how, unfortunately, not everyone is welcome in this country. And why. We talked about what “native” means. We talked about reservations. We talked about how some companies hire illegally to make a profit. We talked about Arizona and profiling and how it feels to be different. Her dad and I believe strongly in being honest, but not in being sensational. Facts first.
It’s tricky not to load information with editorial. I want C jr to form her own opinions and ask her own questions. The young Jedi must learn.
Hey, I just remembered that I made cookies yesterday.
Happy Friday, everyone. May the force be with you.