My husband, my eleven year old daughter and I have been visiting our relatives this week. First, we drove about five and half hours to visit my mom for a visit. We never seem to stay long when we visit my mom. We stayed the night, ate breakfast at Denny’s with mom and her husband, said goodbye to her husband as he left to perform his tasks for the day, then caravanned with mom to a wild animal park which was about and hour and a half away. Part of the attraction was drive through and part was walking around to look at animals in enclosures and there was also a raptor show (the birds, not the dinosaurs–though that  would have been much more interesting–not that the birds weren’t interesting, but compared to carnivorous dinosaurs?)

As we were walking around, I thought back to when I was a young teen growing up in Valencia, CA near Six Flags Magic Mountain. My friends and I would frequently go there in the 100°+ weather and it was no problem at all. We could walk around there all day. Of course it probably helped that they had the Log Jammer and the Jet Stream so we could get nice and wet and cool down for a while. As I was walking around the animal park, all I could think about was trying to get in the next patch of shade because the sun was touching me!  I will have to say though, watching the baby bears growl and roll around and fight over their food made it worth having the sun touch me.

After the wild animal park, we said our goodbyes and thank you’s to my mom, got in our car and drove about three more hours to my husband’s parents. Once there, we met my husband’s brother and sister in law and our seven year old niece (who is also gifted and emotionally intense) for dinner. It was a surprise to “Suzy” that her cousin was in town. Of course the girls had a sleepover at grandma’s that night after going nightswimming with my husband to supervise. They seemed to get along quite well the next day even up until it was time for our daughter to go home with her cousin. I didn’t even get any midnight texts asking to go “home.” This was good because her aunt and uncle live about forty-five minutes away from grandma and grandpa’s. This morning I got a series of texts from her:

Daughter: Are you coming soon?

Mom: Maybe leaving in an hour?

Daughter: Are you going separate?

Mom: I don’t know. Dad is at a coffee shop, so I might go with gma and gpa and the he’ll meet us there.

Daughter: Suzy was crying because she got sent to her room and she was screaming and her mom said when you stop you can come down. then she screamed at the top of her lungs, “I’m done screaming” I did that when I was little but littler and there was no company over. and also if she falls asleep in the car, don’t wake her up because she will start crying and if you are not doing anything she will just say STOP IT!!! I kinda dont wanna spend the night tonight but I wanna go to the science center

Daughter: Also, she playing on my DSi when she has her own 3DS and her mom know where it and the charger is. also, I don’t really want her to play on my SD because she is pressing really hard on the screen. I don’t want her playing my game cause I don’t want her to forget to save it like last time.

Daughter: Just now my facebook went off and Suzy decides to just grab my phone and look at it. She can’t just do that. The bad word wasn’t really bad.

Daughter: Oops the end wasn’t supposed to be there

Mom: Is dad there now? What bad word? Is she in her room now? Can you play with her ds when she is playing with yours?

Daughter: Dad is not here and it was just a bad word to her or not really a bad word but a mean word and I don’t even want to play any DS games so I put my DS away when she was in the bathroom.

Daughter: Can you look at the weather through the day and text it to me?

Mom: K.

And then I looked up the weather for Scottsdale and texted her the hour by hour. She wanted to make sure they’d be able to go swimming. Two things: First, I thought it was hilarious that she remembers how she used to be at that age, but that she forgets that she had no qualms about having meltdowns in front of “company” or in front of strangers, for that matter. Second, I appreciated that for the most part, she used entire words and complete sentences while texting, even using a comma then quotation marks in one place.

As I sit here typing this, both emotionally intense cousins are getting along fine, swimming in pool together. I guess at any age, our memories can be a bit less than honest when looking back at how we were when we were younger. If I’m being honest, I’m sure I complained a bit more about the heat at Magic Mountain, just as my daughter seems to have forgotten that she didn’t seem to care where she had her meltdowns when she was younger. It’s only in about the last year that her meltdowns have been fewer and farther between and usually saved for the privacy of home. Of course she hasn’t hit puberty yet…


4 thoughts on “Looking Back On Our Youth –At Any Age

  1. Donna – Ha! Enjoyed this and your last chore war post too. I really appreciate that you write with so much detail. We are also visiting with cousins now. An eleven year old with my 8 year old. The eleven year old is so calm now and mine so moody. Inspiring to think mine might be mellowing with age!

  2. LOL!! The comment about the weather and texting it every hour made me laugh so hard!! This text conversation could have been my daughter (who at 13 still has explosions but almost always at home not in front of non-family).

  3. Thank you so much for posting this. I have a 12, 10 and 8 year old. My 12yo likes to complain about the 8yo, even though she was just like the 8yo. She doesn’t really remember.

    Just to give everyone some hope, I saw a big change in the 12yo’s behavior when she hit puberty. A big change for the better! Its like the emotions of puberty have nothing on the emotions of a highly gifted kid. I am almost looking forward to puberty in my 8yo….almost.

  4. At my yoga class today there was a ~14yo boy in the middle of the room, with the word “petulant” all over him. He stood with his hands in his pockets the whole hour, doing no yoga. I was a bit impressed with the length of his tantrum, since the pout on his face showed endurance I suppose. But I kept wondering who he thought he was punishing with such a public action. His dad did yoga as usual and the kid just looked like what he was, an oversized toddler. I told my boys (8&11) about it and thanked them for at least saving meltdowns for private!

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