Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Venturing Out on Her Own

Sometimes it is the hardest thing in the world to allow the young to try things on their own. And yet, a Mama has to do what a Mama has to do.

I well remember many of those firsts -- first steps, first time crossing the street alone, first day of school, first date. And the worry of what could happen to my little hostages to fate.

I remember that it was easier the second time round with the early firsts -- Richard had taught me that Julie would survive her first steps and crossing the street. And it was harder the second time round with the later firsts -- Richard had taught me that romance could break a young person's heart.

With the early firsts, the young look back at Mama and make sure not to venture too far from her; her presence makes them bolder. With the later firsts, they don't want her around. After all, if you fall on your diaper, Mama picking you up can be comforting. But, when you get dumped, Mama picking you up can make you feel worse.

Julie once dated a young man who she had been interested in for a while when he was Richard's friend. And when he dumped her, Richard let me know so that I could be sensitive to her feelings. Knowing that at her age she needed to know that she would live through this and she needed to keep her pride, I arranged a little staged ricochet information at dinner that night. My friend Linda came over, and she said that something she had overheard on the bus that day had reminded her of the first time someone had dumped her and how she had "known" that she would never have another boy friend and she was unlovable and how upset she had been, and we talked about those feelings for a very short while, and ended with laughing about how six weeks later she had been involved with a totally different guy and wouldn't have taken the first one back on a bet.

The thing we need to be sensitive to is that the first time teens get dumped is the hardest. They don't know that there will ever be anyone else. What if there really is only one true love for each person and they have just blown theirs? As Julie told me several years after this, the reason they call it a crush is because it crushes your heart. The second time, at least one more person has been interested; they know they aren't going to die of the pain.


J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Oh, god, I remember that...somewhat. I mean, I remember going through it, feeling broken. But the pain is gone from my memory, (and it should, because, jeez, that was the early 80s!) and what I remember now is that it was very melodramatic. I'm glad I was wrong, and that I was able to love again. :)

kenju said...

Ah, yes, I remember it well. The pain was so agonizing I really wanted to disappear from the face of he earth.