I got an introduction to my education of the world of girls at the retreat this weekend with the teens from our church. I couldn’t hide my gaping mouth and wagging chin at the disparity between their characteristics as compared to my comfortable understanding of the boy world. For endless years of parenting I have always been relieved I didn’t have to really understand the social behaviors of the girl species because it’s complicated, delicate, unpredictable and messy with drama. I knew that simply from remembering my own adolescence as well as from the eavesdropping on mom’s of girls. Unanimously, every mom raising a girl at some point in the journey has said to me, “you may have a lot of children but it’s still easier because they are all boys”. I agreed and I’ve been sleeping well all these years.
Now, there’s a whole new chapter opening in the LaTorre household. The girl dog, she was company for me, the girl cat has evened out the odds, but a REAL girl, well, that’s going to have all of us wearing gaping mouths and wagging chins if we aren’t prepared. So, I took good notes this weekend, and at times, especially in the dorm with the team of high school girls, I hid under my pillow and thanked God I have more than a decade to build the necessary skills for “this”.
Girls scream, and they have this endless chatter that resembles an electric chihuahua. They also have alot of stuff, but always seemed to panic because they forgot something vital and made it a matter of great importance to find someone who could share. They will shower at midnight because clean is ranked high, but that doesn’t mean their things need to be kept in order. Someone will get the sillies going, and it’s an avalanche of giggling and screeches. Make-up at camp? The beauty thing, it’s chromosomal, even I partook. They talk about boys endlessly, of course assuming I couldn’t hear, as I am a mother of one of those. Their talks always conclude to one point, boys are stupid when it comes to girls. And they are right. Boys haven’t got a clue about how to deal with the girls. As Joe put it in his talk on prayer, “boys have this nothing box in their head and they are very happy to occupy it. But girls they have spaghetti brain and the thoughts and feelings are constantly moving all over the place.” Yes, I think that’s the source of the girl’s frustration with the boys. Although, there’s no denying boys are ridiculously affected by the girl’s and their strange soft flowy ways and high pitched sounds that roll like the sea. They are taken by the beauty so they can’t help themselves but to interact. Boys and girls are all quite confused at every moment about eachother, and what a comedy it is for us adults to seek entertainment, and feel compassion.
There are tendencies for girls to group up and the boundaries are almost tangible. This highlights the difference between the “fun girls” who thrive on social interaction, and the ‘reflective girls” who are quite comfortable with their own thoughts, but somehow wonder if they are missing something – over there. I have given much thought to this phenomenon for most of my life. I am the loner girl, but I also love to be included in the fun girl circle when I feel like it. Strangely, when I get mixed up in the fun girl stuff I need to get out of there as quickly as possible. But too long in my own circle of company and I long again for the fun. It’s taken me a long life to know for sure it’s really ok to be the independent one. It’s just who I am and how I was made. I wished I could announce that to all the girls somehow, that it’s ok to be in and out. And when I feel alone in a crowd I know I’m always in conversation with God.
The best image of the girl phenomenon I witnessed this weekend was encapsulated by Reagan, the sophomore college girl who taught about solitude. I adored her, she had me rolling in laughter and touched deeply in my heart by her authentic love for the Lord. She had an urgency to share with these students the intensity of her relationship with Jesus and she did it in a culturally relevant way. She spoke a language that made me wonder if it’s a class offered in foreign studies. I took notes.
Reagan has golden flaxen curls that drip to her shoulders which was fastened at one side of her head with a big pink bow. She also had pink nails and pink shoes. Her car was strung on the inside with silver christmas tinsel and the home made ornaments she made as a child. Her smile was not only contained in her face, but emanated from all sorts of secret places in her person. She has contagious sorority girl energy. It’s impossible to be in her presence without adoring her completely after hearing her cute vocal inflexions and contagious laugh.
Here are some of the irrisistible things she said (and remember she’s Texan):
- y’all we want to hear the gentle whisper from God when we’re quiet, not the blow your face off kind of thing
- y’all that is sick (meaning very good)
- the disciples, they’re my home boys- fist crossing to bump her heart
- to agree with everyone she’d say “word” I still don’t understand that but I heard it over and over
- y’all don’t hate on the moment of silence
- y’all, like, you know there’s this guy you know like his name is satan and he wants to keep you so busy that you stay away from this really cool guy Jesus, duh, don’t be stupid
- that’s tight- as in the new word for ‘cool’
- now here’s how I’m going to challenge you, go have a really hot date with Jesus, like yeah, go out to dinner alone but really you’re with God, that’s so hot
- when a guy does something nice, that’s tote presh….abreeevs…you know abreviations…. for ‘totally precious’
I am so ‘not with it’….yet.