We were in line for the drive-thru behind a car filled with teenage girls. They wore uniforms of some team, maybe soccer or softball. We could see the matching sunshine-yellow shirts. The ponytails.
I had one of those weird moments where I rapidly aged my daughter. Put her right into her teens. Into that car, packed with friends and the salty, greasy smell of In-N-Out burgers on a gorgeous day in a beach town.
That feeling of invincibility. Immortality. The endless possibility of what the day will bring.
I thought about her first crush, her first date, her first boyfriend. Prom. Best friends. College.
She has so much ahead of her. So much. All my kids are only beginning. They don't even yet realize what life can offer.
But we do. We do. I remarked to David, as we watched this carful of girls, about how that's going to be Sage some day. And that it'll never be us again. We'll never have that same kind of magic, ourselves. We're middle-aged. We've been there. It was amazing, sometimes. It was awful, sometimes. We really, really get the adage of "youth is wasted on the young." It so is, isn't it?
This is not to say we won't have our own personal achievements, or that we won't have amazing moments together. It's just different.
And it's okay. It's a little sad, but okay. We've lived.
It's our childrens' turn. I'll probably be envious at times. Even of the heartache. When else do you live as fully? Feel so much?
Thing is, my kids have a solid base: their family. We are here to guide them, cheer them on, support them, love them. They live in a society that encourages independence (despite occasionally needing some reminders).
They can fall in love and, hopefully by the time they're ready, can marry who they want. Or they can choose not to marry.
I read I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced, in which a 10 year-old Yemeni girl is married to a man more than twice her age, and then, despite assurances by him to her parents that he'll wait for her to reach puberty, he rapes and beats her almost immediately after they wed.
It's a horror we can't imagine. The betrayal by her parents, who hide behind religious tradition, is beyond tragic.
Nujood escapes and, on her own, travels to see a judge and eventually is granted a highly-publicized divorce.
And then she goes back to her parents. Because she was only 10 and where else could she go?
That's not what home is.
It's a springboard. But it's also a safety net.
This post is part of the SV Moms book club selection. I was sent a copy of the book because of my participation in this group.
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