Three years ago I wrote an “I Remember” post about 1982 as an exercise to empathize with my then 12 year old daughter embarking on adolescence. Today, she’s embarking on the summer she will turn 16. And I’m remembering, with a wince and a smile..
I remember 1985 so clearly, despite the copious amounts of Aqua Net I shellacked my hair and maybe my brain with.
I remember Madonna and Prince and New Edition and The Cure and The Smiths and dancing in basements.
I remember jelly shoes and black rubber bracelets and lace gloves and neon.
I remember getting dressed up on summer nights to walk around our neighborhoods and finally land in a school parking lot. Where we drank. Wine coolers.
I remember constantly fighting with my father about my curfew. I remember hating him. Really.
I remember driving around for hours with my friends with the windows rolled down. Singing. Loudly and badly and not wearing seat belts. . And the driver was distracted.
I remember cheerleading practice, and drama with the older girls and getting my heart broken by a guy that wore Polo cologne and pink polo shirts. I remember surviving.
I remember being at a party and being in a room and being really lucky I got out. I reluctantly told my friends. I never told my parents.
I remember hour long bus rides to Oak Street Beach.
I remember laughing like only teenage girls do. I remember fun and resilience and feeling like I was untouchable.
I remember house parties and dance parties at banquet halls and the joy of going to Impressions and dancing to ‘House Music.” And hoping the boys we liked were there.
I was a typical teenage girl in 1985. I remember it with fondness and laughter, but with a wince and a prayer. Fast forward 30 years and my teenage daughter is entering that summer. I want her to giggle, and dance and laugh and create memories and feel invincible. She is smarter than me and makes better choices than I did. I will watch and pray and do my best to remember the joy of being a teenager, and remember how the little things are really big things and remember that sometimes we make stupid choices – and we are ok despite them. I will do my best to remember 15, so I can guide my first born and keep her as safe as I can. I will do my best to remember to remember….