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The Hindsight Notes: Rules

3 Jun

 

The Hindsight Notes is a recurring section created for all you readers wanting to participate in THL, but lacking time to write a full letter. Each Note is composed of a question. All you need to do is answer it, in the form of a comment (below).

This weeks topic is: Rules.

Every house has them. Every teenager hates them. This week, we want to hear all about the Rules of your house that drove you the craziest. Did you have a sucky curfew? A miles-long list of chores? A no-dating-until-you’re-35 rule? What was it about that rule that drove you nuts? As an adult, do you now understand your parents’ motivation behind said rule?

As always, I’ll start us out:

__________________

If you liked this post, you’ll surely love this one and this one!

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“Dear Adult Me” Summer Series Guest Submissions

25 May

Up to this point, The Hindsight Letters has brought readers weekly Letters of advice written by Adult writers to their Teenaged selves. This summer, I’ll be flipping that concept around for a limited run Summer Series that will share Letters of advice written by Teenaged writers to their Adult selves.

I’m currently welcoming Letters from writers between the ages of 11 and 20 addressed to their Adult selves. Share some of the things you dread about becoming an adult (Jobs, Marriage, Families, Bills). Share some of the things you’re excited about (Independence, First Apartments, Finishing School). Discuss lessons you hope you will have learned by then. Give advice about qualities you hope you won’t lose. This is really a no-rules/all-fun kind of project. Just let your creativity roll with it.

The Hindsight Letters has readers spanning many different age groups. My hope is that this Summer Series will highlight the talent of our adolescent readers and allow them to share their stories in a completely different light.

If you’re a teenaged HL reader, or if you know anyone that might be interested in contributing, please feel free to send me an email at kyra@thehindsightletters.com or just submit your Letter on the About The Site page, preferably before June 15th. No matter what your story, skill set or background, I would love to read your Letter!

Take care, and happy writing!

Kyra

*GUEST SUBMISSION* Letter 51: The Angels

16 May

Lisa writes:

Dear me at 14:

You will remember all the mistakes of your youth with a cringing sense of horror and embarrassment as time marches relentlessly on. The few things you did right will become  beacons in the dark and the only thing that saves you, in the lurid and unforgiving light of reflection, is the knowledge that mistakes are a part of growing up.

The Author at 14

The eighties will arive with a crash and a bang and you will be catapulted into J.H.S. A milestone which will delight and terrify you as you thought you would never make new friends. You were wrong. There you will learn untold lessons and discover nine girls, one by one, who will become The Angels.

You will never forget The Angels’ obsession with all things adult: boys, sex, drugs and your first, halting steps into womanhood. It will be a time of first kisses, make-out sessions, first loves and shades of heartaches on the road to becoming.

You will preen in the Yard after school, congregate, flirt and gyrate. You will always remember the goofy wonder that you all felt at halting any sports activity, if only momentarily, with whatever crazy antics you psyched each other in to doing.

You will come to understand that it was your first taste of the power that women wield over men. Stop!!! You don’t have to be so blatant and throw caution to the winds. But driven by hormones you will remain blissfully unaware.

You will delight at teetering on the edge of adulthood, sharing Judy Blume and gorging on pizza. You will share clothes and makeup, pass notes in class, giggle in the bathroom and spend untold minutes putting on Starlight Magic makeup. It will be wasted time trying to make yourselves gorgeous, as if you already aren’t. Self-love is a skill that will take you at least another ten years to master.

No other decade will ever be as memorable as the 80’s to you. You will discover Rock and fall in love with AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Rush, The Police, Van Halen (OMG David Lee Roth), Phil Collins, the B-52’s and Rap before it became Hip-Hop. It will forever be tight shirts, ripped jeans, rock t-shirts, Izod Lacoste, Le Tigre, Kangols, Name Belts, Gold Jewelry, Lee Jeans, Nikes, Adidas and the inevitable jean jacket (collar turned up, of course). It will also be the period you recall fondly as “the time before the D cup.”

You will be transfixed with laughter at the recollection of your first experience with alcohol. Drunken headiness all mixed up with snow, idiocy, freedom and cold. You will guzzle Blackberry Brandy, of all things, make angels in the snow and roll down the hill in Central Park. Nothing will douse your sense of glee except the sight of Dawn’s vomit and her parent’s disapproving faces when you bring her home. Hmm, maybe getting completely shit-faced isn’t as good as you thought it would be.

You will meet your second mother, Heather. She will open her heart, her home and her shoulder to you. You will never forget the hours spent in her kitchen eating every kind of cheese known to man, hanging with Liana and Sharon, listening to classical music, ogling her incredible collection of books and devouring Oodles of Noodles. She will hold pride of place in your heart for seeing past your skin color, rejecting socio-economic stereotypes and recognizing your spirit, heart and fledgling intellect. Not until you are much older will you know how unique that is.

All those wasted hours whining and moaning about your dysfunctional families, unified in your hatred of adults. Only years later, as you lose them, one by one, will you be haunted by this lack of understanding. Finally, as grown-ups, you will understand that love for our children is the greatest of all loves and “get” just where your parents were coming from.

It is these girls that will listen to you with utter fascination and stand up for you. These girls, turned women, that you will fight for, and with, through the years against boyfriends, husbands and life. They will teach you loyalty and compassion, laugh with you at the ridiculous, cry with you at the heartbreaking and even run away with you when it is all too much to bear. Most importantly, the Angels will teach you about the enduring nature of friendship, love and connection. They will become the women whose faces you will look into thirty-some years later and recognize that, only this, your friendship, has remained untarnished and true.

Lisa Rivera is an aspiring novelist and avid lover of poetry, erotica and fiction. You may view more of her work on her blog, Thirsty for the Marvelous, at http://cocorivers.wordpress.com/

Letter 50: How To Freeze Time

9 May

Dear me at 17:

You’re doing it again.

Sitting in class, wishing away the minutes. Wishing away the hours. Wishing it were next week, next month, next year. Wishing that time would start moving faster and take you away to the next best thing.

I’m writing you this Letter today to tell you that, as it stands, time moves way too quickly. It might not seem like it now, trapped in one of those signature teenaged moments, waiting for your life to start. But believe me, in a few years, you’ll be wishing with all your might that everything would begin to just slow down a bit.

Ten years from now, you will be writing this Letter while your daughter naps upstairs. She will be turning two years old in just a few days.

Two. Years. Old.

Thinking about it, it will be hard to believe that two years have already come and gone. It will feel like moments ago that you felt her kick inside your growing belly. Stretching her legs out, getting to know her limbs. Hiccuping tiny little hiccups that felt like little tickles near your hip.

It will feel like moments ago that you went into labour. You had rushed to the hospital only to spend the next thirty some hours awaiting her arrival. Nervous and excited and hurting like hell, trying any precarious position that might ease a pain so great you thought you might not be able to do it.

It will feel like moments ago that you witnessed her sweet little lips take their very first breath. That you met her for the first time. The doctor placed her on your chest, blinking hard, already surveying the room around her and trying to make sense of the incredible journey she had just begun. You placed your hand on her teensy little back for the very first time and whispered “Hello, sweet girl”. Your life had changed forever, in an instant.

You had been given a gift more precious than any you had ever known. A beautiful, healthy, baby girl. But not just any baby girl. You will soon find out just how bright, sensitive, strong, determined and loving a little girl she is. You could never have imagined the kind of admiration and respect you would have for this tiny little person. When you had envisioned motherhood, you had always thought about all the things you could teach her. What you couldn’t have predicted is the many things that she will teach you, and all the ways you will wish that you had but one fraction of her inner strength and independence.

In two years you will watch this beautiful little person grow and grow and grow. As is typical of her personality, she will meet all her milestones according to her own timelines and plans. She will skip crawling and go straight to walking. Without even practicing, one day, she will just start to walk. She’ll look at you as if to say, “What are you looking at? By the way, I can walk now”.

You will watch her make little friends of her own and form intense bonds with them, far beyond her years. You will see how deeply she cares for these other little babies, and her immense excitement in sharing her time with them.

You will watch her develop interests of her own, far different from yours. She will be the toughest little baby girl you know, choosing trucks, motorcycles and trains over baby dolls and princesses.

You will watch in complete awe as this tiny little person forms a personality larger than life, right before your eyes.

And as much time as you spend with her, regardless of the fact that you spend your days playing with her, feeding her, taking care of her, you will still feel like you are missing it all. Like time is slipping through your hands like water, and no matter how hard you try to catch it and pick it back up, it just keeps dripping away.

And, though you will be incredibly excited about all of her birthday gifts and celebrations (perhaps a little too excited?), there will always be a big part of your heart that will lament the passing of each year that her birthday marks. Each year will take her further away from you and closer to her own life. Closer to her first day of school. Closer to her first job. Her first apartment. Her first child of her own. These are firsts that will bring you immense joy. But you can’t help but wonder whether you will always just wish you could take it all back in time and hold her in your arms once again. Kiss her little baby forehead. Smell that sweet baby smell at the nape of her little neck. Stare into her eyes, and see her staring back at you as though you are the most important person in her little world. Because, back then, you were.

And so, my dear girl, here is your task: Learn how to freeze time. You are a very smart girl and I’m sure if you study hard enough now, you could figure it out in time for the birth of your baby girl. Then you’d be able to savour those sweet baby moments for as long as you like. And maybe you might not feel as bittersweet when you help her blow out the candles this weekend.

Stop wishing so hard that time would move faster. Because, believe me, in a few short years, your wish will most definitely come true.

__________________

If you liked this post, you’ll surely love this one and this one!

The Hindsight Notes: Parental Beef

22 Apr

The Hindsight Notes is a recurring section created for all you readers wanting to participate in THL, but lacking time to write a full letter. Each Note is composed of a question. All you need to do is answer it, in the form of a comment (below).

This week’s topic is: As a teenager, what was your parents’ biggest complaint about you? 

Let’s be honest here: We all drove our parents a little crazy during our adolescence. Most of the time, we were probably little cranky pants or bossy boots with a big time ‘tude. Blame it on hormones if you wish, but our parents were the ones that most often had to suffer the wrath of our mood swings and temper tantrums.

So, what would you say was your parents’ biggest beef about you as a teenager? Were you constantly late? Did you have a potty mouth? Never did your homework?

As always, I’ll start us out:

If you liked this post, you’ll surely love this one and this one!

The Hindsight Notes: Teenaged Bedroom

15 Apr

The Hindsight Notes is a recurring section created for all you readers wanting to participate in THL, but lacking time to write a full letter. Each Note is composed of a question. All you need to do is answer it, in the form of a comment (below).

This weeks topic is: Your Teenaged Bedroom.

As a teenager you sometimes feel so close to adulthood that you can almost taste it. And your bedroom is your space to flex your independence muscles. Decorate it the way you like. Shut the door and be alone. Listen to your music as loud as you can. And then you hear your Mother yell from down the hallway “Clean your room!!” and you’re reminded that, unfortunately, you’re still a kid.

This week, we want to hear all about your teenaged room. What did it look like? What colour were the walls? Were they covered in posters? Was there clothing strewn everywhere or was it spic and span? Was it anything like your current interior design taste, or does it make your adult self cringe?

As always, I’ll start us out:

__________________

If you liked this post, you’ll surely love this one and this one!

The Hindsight Notes: Sibling Rivalry

1 Apr

The Hindsight Notes is a recurring section created for all you readers wanting to participate in THL, but lacking time to write a full letter. Each Note is composed of a question. All you need to do is answer it, in the form of a comment (below).

This week’s topic is: Sibling Rivalry.

It’s a relationship constantly walking that love/hate line. Or maybe that like/dislike line. Whether you fought like cats and dogs or were BFF’s all the time, we want to hear all about your relationship with your sibs during the tumultuous teenaged years.

Did you cover for each other? Tattle on each other? Compete with each other? Party with each other? If you’re an only child, did you ever miss having a sibling with whom to share the blame for teenaged escapades?

As always, I’ll start us out:

______________________

If you liked this post, you’ll surely love this one and this one!