Number One Tween has cracked the age and kicked over into his teenage years. Years that will see a veracity of change in his body, mind and soul. It may be profound or filled with profanities. He will emerge a new person; fingers crossed that it is a robust, quirky, interesting and happy soul that arrives at the kitchen table as a 20-something.
Tween Two has announced his arrival at the scene and suggested my focus should be aimed at his stories, his feats and his way of life. I love his openness for this social commentary – is it the Andy Warhol prediction of 15 minutes of fame?
Tween Two is 10, he’s a youngie for Grade Six, the final year of primary school. He’s smart, articulate and curious. He can debate, hold a crowd with his intellect and wit, and deliver the crunch point that nobody else thought of.
He’s not the cool kid at school. Not that keen of team sports, not the social butterfly that oozes friends. His friendships are solid and mature; no fools, no flakes and definitely no fanatics.
But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to play with the cool crowd. The magnetic of those boys with the flicky hair, sporting prowess and more. It’s the same crowd as my days at school back in the 1980’s. Only difference is the interpretation. I, as a tween and teen, was happy with my own beat, style, thoughts and the kids I hung out with – I was troublesome, naughty and led the best of the girls at my private boarding school astray with breakouts and knockabout antics.
As a mother it’s interesting to see how the tweens use their power for good or evil; who wants to be “in the group” and who doesn’t care.
What is it about the “group” that drives such desire to be like that, when we all know a quick whip around at a school reunion tells us the “in group” weren’t the happy, socialised kids we thought them to be.
I do feel the realness of the playground, the endlessness of those lunchtimes when you just don’t quite fit in. When you try but keep getting push out. When you look for friendships but just can’t quite get there.
The advice to all tweens: playgrounds are likely to be the toughest environment you will ever have to be in; there will be really shitty days and days that just don’t seem that bad. Amongst the crappiness there will be stories to share of survival, of wins, of those days when you came out on top.
Hang in there – be kind in the face of unkindness; be resilient in the face of adversity and be true to yourself; whomever that 20-something turns out to be.
Comments are always welcome. Please be mindful however that words can enlighten or dishearten.