While at breakfast with a friend, the subject of the tween and teen years came up. What an awkward mess you are from age 12-16. Your body is wigging out, you can't figure out where you fit in, you're too old for toys, but too young to sit at the adult table, life is so hard and your parents just DO NOT GET IT. You are filled to the brim with boredom and angst.
These days (ohmygawd I am old), kids turn to social media. Tapping into my twelve year old son's instagram account I find countless blank screen posts with a 'hit me up, I'm bored'. This is usually followed by a few 'hey' comments. Um, did that make you less bored? Go find something to do! (Wow, now I sound like my mother.)
I was bored. Constantly. Bored and annoyed with my sisters and parents. I'd escape by reading, or listening to the radio or cassettes (wow, I just keep aging myself), or writing. Oh yes, writing. In journals and notebooks. I wrote poems, I copied song lyrics, I wrote the names of boys I liked, I wrote notes to friends about how very very bored I was and asking what boys they were interested in. Most of this genius material is stored away in a lovely blue crushed velvet journal complete with silver unicorn outline on the outside cover. My my, it was a gorgeous diary.
That diary held my angst. My heartache. My hopes and dreams, and my lovely rhyming poems. Ah yes, they had to rhyme. That diary is missing pages. Pages I tore out so that I could rewrite them becuase I also liked to experiment with my handwriting. My goodness I was a wackadoo!
Now, twitter and instagram and snapchat and whateverotherappsthereare serve as the blue velvet unicorn diary. But they aren't as safe as my diary was. I mean sure, my mom and sisters read my diary. Bitches! But the whole world didn't read my diary. Future employers didn't read my diary. My husband hasn't read my diary. I've tried to explain this concept to my kids. They pretend to listen, to take it in. I know they don't really get it.
I wish they did.
It's required that I be their "friend" on any accounts I allow them to set up. I also make them give me their login and password. And so far, for W, that's just instagram. I'm trying to keep my eye on things. I know that's like asking for the key to my blue velvet unicorn adorned diary - BUT - they are sharing that stuff with the world. If they wrote in a diary? I'd leave it be. (I think.)
Thankfully, due to the safey of my special journal, no one knows how much I once loved Tony or Jimmy. No one knows that I rhymed 'understand' and 'helping hand' when writing poems about my friends. Oh except you guys. Don't tell, okay?
I'm so writing about this in my diary tonight. Ooh, and then I'm going to try to draw that turtle so I can get into art school. "My mom just doesn't get it!"