There I was, rollin’ in my family sedan, with my two mini-me’s bopping along in their carseats behind me when it happened.
I’m gobsmacked and my ears go on full alert by a song that I haven’t heard in at least 16 years. It spins me back to my adolescence without a word of warning. It’s like I’ve been shot back to my youth and I find myself belting out every word to this anthem of my teenage years.
Suddenly, I can vividly recall memories that I haven’t thought of in well over a decade. I feel a mix of nostalgia and remorse.
Why is adolescence such a difficult time?
As I relish in this song that meant so much to the girl I once was, I am filled with such a mix of memories and emotion. I remember the fun times, the good times and the laughs. But I also remember the awkwardness, the uncertainty, and lack of confidence that came with being a teenager.
My mind reels through a montage of teenage memories that no longer get the time of day.
Brandy and Monica sing, “The Boy is Mine” as I dream about the boy I wish was mine. An awkward teenager, belting out The Cranberries lyrics as the single comes at me through the giant, airplane style headphones of my walkman. Sharing Alanis Morissette’s anger and rage, and busting out terrible dance moves in the highschool gym to all of the 90’s Dance Mix compilations.
As the song fades out, I glance in my rearview mirror. Two beautiful daughters. They will have to find their way through those tough years, just as all of us did. They will have their own song.
There’s no avoiding it. There’ll be bumps, bruises and broken hearts. As much as I want to hold them in my arms, protect them forever, and bubble-wrap their hearts; it’s a right of passage they’ll have to take. Mistakes will be made, tears will be shed, by all of us I’m sure.
So know this, my sweet little girls; that I was once there too. When you grow out of those car seats, and want to take the steering wheel, blasting ‘your song’; know that I’m not just your old Mom, nagging you to do the right thing. Know that I’ve been there. I once had a song too, and all the things that went with it.