I’m holidaying in the same house I spent my holidays as a teen in. Except now the house is a home to my dad and my brother and his family. Which includes a teenage girl.
Beautiful thing. Coltish legs. Cascades of hair. Come to bed eyes and a wide smile. Largely unlike me at that age, but the giggling is the same. And the denim hot pants.
And as I’m a sentimental sap by nature, being on a beach holiday is bringing back waves of memories to me. Some involving more alcohol than a teenage girl should’ve consumed. Memories of steamy kisses with a strapping Karoo lad in an old Land Rover; of pining for a certain local dairy farmer’s son; of hair tossing and bandying about surfer slang to seem less like the Vaalie in the big beach house; of first boyfriends and sneaking out to do things I probably shouldn’t have done. And at the centre of all of these memories, that certainty you held at the time that you are IT.
What can your parents tell you? *eyeroll* Why should you listen to your older sister? *eyeroll* Yes *eyeroll* *eyeroll* I know what I’m doing mom. But the mom is part whine, with long vowels. Mooooooom.
And I look at my niece. She seems so young and vulnerable. 15 years old. And despite the bravado and swagger and yes, eyerolls, I see straight into the heart of her and any teenager. And my almost 34 year old self wants to laugh. Because how was I different then to what she is now? Yet I can still taste the freedom of making my own choices then. So totally cocksure.
Growing up. And hindsight.
Those eternal enigmas.