The Enigma of Budding Womanhood

“… warrior, queen, elegant and graceful gazelle one moment, clumsy, awkward colt the next. She was a multifaceted enigma, a complex patchwork, a young woman coming into her own…” (Wizard Queen Book 5 in the Maagy Series)

Are these words not an apt description of every young girl in the throes of adolescence? At any given moment, she is a warrior on the court, the dance floor, in the pool, or on the playing field. She is the queen of her realm in her tiny bedroom with a headset on rocking out to her latest jam. She is elegant and graceful as she descends the stairs in her prom gown. In the next breath, she stumbles and tumbles down the stairs as awkward and clumsy as a new colt. Yes, this happened to my daughter. And, yes, she recovered her balance and was no worse for the wear, though a tad bit bruised under all that soft blue satin, which is yet another allegorical manifestation of womanhood.

I write a lot about female adolescence because it’s a subject I am all too familiar with, and you know what they say, write what you know. As a woman, and a mother and grandmother of girls, it is a theme I have lived and witnessed. It’s a tumultuous time of raging hormones, but a beautiful and exciting time of awakening to the world and the profound impact of becoming an adult.

Today’s society is not always kind to “multifaceted enigmas” or willing to tolerate the fumbles and foibles of “complex [patchworks]”. Social media gives tacit permission for anonymous negative opinions and free-flying insults toward these fragile creatures at the most critical time in their development. Sadly, these unwanted and mostly unwarranted critiques do lasting, terrible damage to these “… young [women] coming into [their] own”.

We should all breathe and take a moment to reflect and think before hurling vitriol with our fingertips, especially at the most vulnerable among us. We should be more mindful of teaching our girls and boys to be kind and respectful, as we never know what “She”, on the other side of the screen, may be dealing with in her life… parental divorce, poverty, loss of a loved one, loneliness.

“…she is a little girl in a woman’s skin. She is too mature to be unaware, but too immature to be rational.” (Enchantment Book 3 in the Maagy Series).

Let us remember that just yesterday she was a baby peacefully asleep in her crib. Give her latitude when she flounders. Give her love when she is the most unlovable. Give her hugs when she is bruised and sweaty from the battlefield. Be patient. One day she will truly grow up and be on her own getting married, buying a house, building a career, becoming a mother. Then you’ll wish she was still that graceful, clumsy, awkward, enigmatic, patchwork of child and woman, peacefully asleep in her crib.

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