for my eldest niece's 11th birthday party, my sister asked me to assist her in taking my niece and three of her friends to the movies. of course i said 'sure! i love going to the movies.' oh, but i did more than watch Diary of a Wimpy Kid on Saturday night, i watched Diary of a Terrified 30-Something... and the sequels, Diary of a Heartbroken 40-Something and Diary of a Where Did I Go Wrong 50-Something.
when i rolled up to my sister's house for this little adventure, my tween niece was busy playing basketball with the other tweens and didn't even notice me or say hello until her little sister said, 'hey. did you know Aunt Allison is here?' at that point, she stopped just long enough to say, 'oh. hi.' then went back into her own little tweeny world. it was there at that very moment, that i realized the transformation had begun. i was no longer the cool aunt, but just another adult that can't get away with saying, 'when i rolled up...'
now, i must admit... i once practiced the tween lifestyle. however, there were no cell phones, no texting, no internet and no spacebook. me and the other tween-lings had to pass hand written notes in class, ask our parents permission to use the only phone in the house and weren't privy to information that happened after school or at night until the next day at school. and the only influences i had were my older brother, my older sister and HBO... let's face it, i practiced tween-ism long before parental control on the television was invented.
i remember having sex education sometime in middle school and my mother explaining the 'Becoming a Woman' book to my sister and i.... but to be honest, i really didn't understand it all until my late teens. and even then, i really couldn't see the forest through the trees but thankfully somehow i made it out of high school pretty much unscathed. but how? how in the hell was i able to get where i am today?
i asked myself this when i overhead one of these tweens say, 'my boyfriend cheated on me so i ripped up the teddy bear he got me.' WHAT? you are 11-years old! do you know what cheating is? wait, how do you even have a boyfriend. you are 11!?! granted i said i had a 'boyfriend' in the 5th grade too... but we never even talked in class or out of class or went anywhere together. now that i think about it, maybe it was a one-sided relationship. WHAT? i was in the 5th grade... what the hell did i know about relationships? to be honest, again... i'm 10 days shy of 32-years old and i'm just now understanding what healthy relationships actually mean.
the more the tweens talked, the more scared i got. murmurs of 'he's so hot!' and 'i'm desperate for a boyfriend!' filled the mini-van on the way home. i turned to my sister in exasperation and asked if she heard what was going on? she didn't seemed phased by it at all. was she deaf, i wondered?
in this world wind of 'you're not old enough to say that', i remembered a conversation i had suppressed for several years about giving my then 13-year old nephew a pseudo sex talk after he said that he was never having sex because he saw pictures of STD's on.... guess where? yep, the internet. i realized it's not just sex though. what about drugs? what about peer pressure? what about education? what about driving? what if they turn out to be an asshole?
regardless, i made a life altering decision at that very moment... i can not have children. not that i don't want them, i do... but i can't. i've only had a few anxiety attacks in my life and i was on the verge of another one. i always thought i would be the cool parent but flashes of my future self being an overprotective, controlling parent that tries to shield her child from the terrible, influential world we live in, where they will rebel against me and my controlling ways in every way imaginable. which then cause a lifetime of anguish for me and my family and thus further causing me to become an alcoholic to deal with the pain of having my child hate me because i ruined their life. i lose my job, my husband divorces me and my other children have to go live with my disappointed parents because i can no longer care for them because i'm in rehab... again. my parents might be disappointed in me, but how courageous there were to even have me.
"there are two lasting bequests we can give our children. one is roots. the other is wings."