Teen Years

The teen years are strange. Mine were. Yours probably were too.

I see teens in the small Mexican town I live in and wonder if it’s still strange. I bet it is.

There was a young teenaged girl in our capoeira (martial arts) class but she’s not taking it anymore. She’s friendly and outgoing and became friends with my girlfriend and me. We tried to get her to continue taking capoeira classes, but she wanted to stop. Now we bump into her on the street sometimes and she’s seems ok. But to us she seems to be running amuck – hanging out with boys who are probably too old for her, for instance.

We sound like old farts, we aren’t her parents, and she’ll probably be fine. But we like her and just want her to pass through her teen years as unscathed as possible. She has a Mexican parent and an American parent, so she has a foot in both worlds and is bilingual. This is important only because gives her more options and information than is available to her spanish only speaking friends in a sleepy little town. Just like small towns in the States, there’re aren’t lots of options for teens here.

I can see the teen years look in her eyes, fueled by the hormonal shiftings and upheavals she’s starting to feel. She’s looking around her world trying to figure out her place in it, how much response she should return to attention for boys, and how to spend her free time. I didn’t know her before this year, but I’d bet she’s changing quickly. Schools here aren’t challenging and she’s sharp. She has two parents, but they give her a long tether. Being cute and flirty might open doors for her she doesn’t want to see behind yet.

That’s it, we’re going to look for her and get her back into capoeira class while there’s still time.