So I'm getting off the bus yesterday, minding my own business, when I'm stopped in my tracks by a vision of my past:
Holy crap! It was like I had de-trained at Belmont for a second... in 1989.
I had to get a picture (he was very sweet though I never would have told him that), and I have to say that I think he was a little surprised by the fact that this clearly mom-looking woman knew what Liberty Spikes even *were*, much less that he was a) sporting them or b) that they were impressive. No really, those things take skill and dedication! Any girl who ever tried to feather their hair in the 80's can tell you how long *that* takes... imagine getting it not only symmetrical but skyward as well!
If pressed, I probably would have done the uncool thing and informed him that I'd known guys with that 'do before he was born, so I'm glad he didn't ask.
The baseball bat is a mystery, but I'm fairly certain it was an affectation, akin to the "staff" (read: broom handle painted purple and decorated with a barber-pole stripe of black electrical tape) that my one-time prom date carried with him everywhere for a summer in 1991. He was, granted, a bit of a tool but he never actually smacked anyone with it except himself on occasion. It was strictly for show.
Today's Wonder Why comes from the startling fit of nostalgia I got from seeing this kid and his friends hanging in Longmont (of all places, though I think they were probably waiting for the LX bus to squire them to Denver), though it's more of a "when" than a "why"...
When do we ever stop being teenagers in our heads? And do we want to, really?
I think it's a yes-and-no sort of answer.
On the one hand, there are plenty of things about being a teenager that I am intensely grateful I'll never have to experience again, but on the other there are those fantastic memories of being so young and so *free* - things I didn't appreciate when I had them. I was never a true rebel, I was always too conscious of consequence, but I had some incredible adventures (there's really no other word for them) wherein I had to figure things out and save myself, and it made me more independent and able to tread some really treacherous waters later in life.
Can we truly have that intense level of learning about life as we get older? Maybe, but not if we ever let go of that defiant kid that's still residing somewhere in our memories. I think we get too settled in our routines to be able to let go long enough to get into trouble, but I also think that we're much more conscious that if we *do* get into trouble, we won't have youth to blame.
It's an interesting inner dichotomy for me personally, since this kind of memory of rebellion and risk is something The Kid will most likely not experience to the extent that I did, which as her mommy I think is a good thing, but as a fellow human I wish otherwise sometimes.
I hope she has at least a taste of that kind of adventure, some sort of secret trial-and-error, at least a time or two. I don't want to be called by the police, mind you, but I sort of hope she has to figure her way out of a situation or two before she gets out on her own, secure in the knowledge that I'll be there if she needs me - but free to not call if she doesn't feel the need.
Truth be told, it's one of things that motivated me last year (although I needed pushing...thanks Nova) to get her to learn the ways of the RTD... I know I can trust her to be smart, but secretly, deep down where I'm still 17 and sporting a shaved head and oxbloods, I hope she uses that bus to get herself down to Denver (with a friend ohpleaseohplease) and have to dodge a situation or two, live that city-girl life a day here and there, and that I won't know about it until she's 22 and reliving the adventure, admitting her little bits of rebellion to me just like I did with my mom.
I'll act shocked, but I'll be smiling.