I wouldn't have noticed them except they hang around so long I start paying attention. Water jug in hand, I am waiting to venture onto the front lawn to water my pants, er plants, because I am scantily clad and adults are loitering in my space. Not "myspace" but MY space! My front sidewalk/lawn. My private space.
But on second look ... these are pseudo adults. Possibly 13? Two girls, two boys, and a kid. A kid sister following on a pink bike, a kid sister they are clearly trying to get rid of. I put on a rag shirt and start pouring liquid bliss on thirsty flowers. I don't care if kids see me.
Kid, speeding up on bicycle. "I said HI to gramma!!"
Girl one. "Go say HI to her again."
Girl two. "Go get us a can of coke."
Boy with deep voice and pimply skin. "Go! Go! Go away!"
Girl one. "Just go get us cokes. We are thirsty. Then you can stay."
Boy two, neater, less aggressive. "Go say HI to gramma again.She misses you."
The kid leaves and the sexual tension spins palpably into the air. Minutes, hours! of standing near each other, posturing, saying nothing and everything, breathing each others sweat.
Then the four kids decide to play hide and seek in the creek. One little couple who isn't a couple goes in to hide ...and the other little couple who are much more a unit go to seek. I don't see them come out.
So here is a very very homely boy, ungracious and red faced, spinning a mesmerizing spell over a girl with long swingy hair, budding breasts and oozing self consciousness. What on earth can the attraction be? But I know the attraction. This is an enactment of one of the most powerful forces within a human life. We preach choices to our kids but in this moment all preaching is gone. Hormones are leading the dance.
In our culture this is part of the strangling contortion of growing up. Before this is childhood imagination, after is real life, hopefully with some good possibilities. But right now - this is a vortex that takes a life and turns it inside out.
Since the kids have been loitering on my front lawn and in our stream I have noticed my flowers are growing more vigorously. The blooms are huge. Maybe it is a hormone treatment I could bottle and sell.