not a girl, not yet a woman
She was a baby just a breath ago,
Toddling, laughing as the vicar splashed
The holy water on her golden face.
And now she is a woman with a view
Upon the world and life the way
The writers told us it should be.
Fitzgerald and Jack Kerouac
Are men who make her pulse race fast
And wish to be another year
Into life so she can take to road trips
All across the dusty tracks that zig zag nations
Calling out with men, exotic in their lives
And wanting her to fall in arms
That soon will turn and make her weep,
But isn’t that what girls will need
To grow into a knowing woman
Ready to go out and roar?
I sat in a lesson today and I clocked a girl in the back row called Lily. I don’t know what made me double take apart from the fact that she looked the spitting image of her mother.
I was at the very same college I’m at a placement in now, and it was at the same time her mother was there. She was beautiful and cool and dating the coolest guy on campus. However, she was like me and was hating her time there. She left and got pregnant shortly afterwards. And she had a girl called Lily.
I dropped out and then got pregnant the year after she did and we became friends during that year. I was heavily pregnant when I was invited to Lily’s christening and I attended her second birthday.
I’m a crappy introvert who loses touch with everyone because I don’t like phones or coffee dates, so I lost touch with Lily’s mother. It was only when I saw this girl behind me, aged about sixteen, that I remembered that friendship.
Lily is a beautiful woman now and she was analysing The Great Gatsby like a boss. This didn’t make it any easier to match her up with the toddler that I remembered and it just reminded me how much our children grow and how quickly it happens. It’s made even more interesting by the fact that these kids are on the cusp of adulthood. They have fully formed opinions and soon they will spread their wings and fly. Soon they will experience all those highs and lows that make life so much like a novel.