The Dichotomy of Adolescence

“… He took in every nuance of his child noting the dichotomy of adolescence, her willful defiance as she clutched her childhood in her arms…”

Says King Henry observing Princess Maagy in one of her most impetuous, yet vulnerable phases. (Enchantment Book 3 in the Maagy Series)

This is the definition of puberty.

I can’t speak for boys/men, as I’m female and can only speak from a girl’s/woman’s perspective. Adolescence is earthly purgatory for girls. It’s that period of murky limbo between child and adult during which parents go from wanting to swaddle them and tell them all will be fine to wanting to swat them and lock them in the dungeon, or bedroom, or basement, or attic, whichever is readily available.

I remember screaming fights with each of my pubescent daughters. Later, I’d go into their rooms and watch them sleep thinking how peaceful and innocent. My baby girls, my beautiful porcelain dolls; of each I thought is this really she, or is it the alien look-alike the mother ship has deposited in her place? Only morning would tell.

It isn’t fair that the human mind and body must go through such turmoil and upheaval in such a short time period.

And yet, it is the reality that all females must live through. I clearly remember sitting in my room when I was about seventeen and crying because I had to grow up. I so wanted to go back to my grandparents’ farm and ride my horse. I missed the summers of bare feet and lemonade, Courthouse trips on Saturdays, napping under the pecan tree with the new calf, her mother shooing the flies away from both of us. I was one year from majority and yet I longed for my childhood to never end. Perhaps, I still seek it through Maagy.

Five years is not enough to transition from bicycles, skateboards, and doll babies to college applications, paychecks, and potential parenthood. An eighteen-year-old is not an adult, no matter the legal terminology. Science has proven the adolescent brain is woefully under developed and almost incapable of rational decision-making.

Adolescence is the epitome of contradiction.

It’s the child’s mind struggling to understand the complexities of the larger world they are beginning to notice, while trying desperately to make grown-up decisions with childlike innocence. It’s the body in complete chaos of pimples, hair growing everywhere, and armpits that smell like onions. Breasts pop out over night in the form of grapes, then plums, then possibly melons, all of which are tender and sore and a great source of amusement to equally hormonal boys, who what to touch and pinch them. Nothing is more embarrassing than having your period start at school and not being prepared or even realize it. Boys don’t have to go through that.

At no time in the human life cycle are people more cruel, vicious, thoughtless, unhinged, or dangerous than during adolescence.

This is not unique to males only. Out-of-control pubescent girls are truly scary creatures. And yet again, let us not forget they are children; vulnerable, impressionable, sensitive, easily damaged children.

The good news is they finally grow up.

The mother ship took the evil imposters and returned my beautiful babies, now fierce women. They are resilient, responsible, intelligent, compassionate, and funny humans molded by those powerful chemicals coursing through their bodies.

And someday perhaps the cycle will continue.

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