She's Twelve?

By , shoreline, WA
No more pigtails making me look as if I am Dumbo, no more of my mommy dressing me for school, hello to relatives saying “oh, how you’ve grown”, thanks…twelve years old, too old to be called a kid, too young to be called a teen. I’m a tween.

Slowly I began to notice this graduation to tweenhood when I was no longer able to order the “kids meal” at Pho, or when I could no longer have a discount at a restaurant or at Costco where I was allowed to get samples of products without a parent. As time progressed I started to feel oddly placed among my friend of different age groups. Were they too young to hang around with? Too old to get what I was talking about? Sometimes people make you realize that you have grown up, even if you don’t feel it. For instance my brother used to call me “chap” and then one day he just stopped. I asked him why he didn’t call me it anymore, and his response was that “your too old”. Lovely, now I’m too old.

At twelve I finally got the message “you’re growing up”. I finished elementary feeling that my group of friends then would forever be my best friends. Till this day I still remember fantasizing about prom with them, how we would all go together, and how we would never ever separate. September rolled around, then October, and then November. I was soon to find out my group was about to go our separate ways. Gradually I met new friends, but I also discovered the “juggling act” between different groups of friends. Truthfully I’m not the best at it, but it showed me that there is more to friendship then just hanging out, it takes work to maintain a certain level of friendship.

Going clothing shopping with my mom also demonstrated to me I had graduated into womanhood. No longer making a beeline straight towards the cute kids section, but making way to the unfamiliar junior section. I would slowly pick up items and show my mommy, sometimes she would say “oh, how cute” or other times “that’s a little to old for you”. What a struggle.

There were numerous signs flying passed signaling that I had grown up, one of them was that I actually had real homework. That would definitely affect my grade if I didn’t take the time to finish it. I remember that year in 7th grade when I checked my grade, my eyes grazed upon this never before seen letter “C”. Sheepishly I told my brother and he told me “Elizabeth in school you’ll see a lot of those, its not rare, just get used to it.” Hello, Elizabeth schools not always 3’s and 4’s and nice little side comments.

Another telltale sign was the talk of “credits”, what are those? And that to gain a head start in the progress of accumulating credits was to take a foreign language. They don’t call it foreign language for nothing. That year nothing in Spanish clicked for me, finally I began to realize that if I wanted to learn something I’d have to go after if myself. None of my new teachers were going baby me and ask me “Elizabeth do you get what we are doing?” all the time. So I bobbed along in Spanish like a pool float riding on the ripples of someone that just jumped in.


Am I glad I “graduated” into tweenhood? Yes I am, with it comes uncertainty at times, but also new opportunities and responsibilities come along with it. At 14 ½ I catch myself wanting to go back to those years before. But I have to remind myself if I had stayed at that age for forever, none of this change and learning would have taken place. Lessons not yet learned, people not yet met, for that I am grateful.





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