Rites of Passage

>> Monday, 19 July 2010

I took the Boys to Southbourne Beach near Bournemouth today. This was an important Rite of Passage; this part of Dorset is where my mum's family is from, where she grew up, and where I spent not only some very happy holidays but also two formative summers during my sixth form years - on this very beach, in fact - after my parents moved down there for a while.

Whilst we were dodging waves and building trenches this afternoon, the sand was invaded by a 50-strong party of teens, probably from the very same school that I spent those two summers at. Seeing them race into the waves, wrinkle-free, skinny-hipped, and far more beautiful than they will ever realise (or at least, until they come across a photo of their 17-year old self in 25 years time), it took me back to some of my own rites of passage, like leaving school on a hot and sunny afternoon and heading down to the beach for a spot of illicit sunbathing when I should probably have been doing my homework. Spending hours making a cup of tea last in the cliff-top cafe, putting the world to rights with my earnest girlfriends, and wondering whether the guy playing drums in the school band actually fancied me or just happened to be glancing in my direction when he was having trouble with his contact lenses. Finding out that he did actually fancy me, and getting into trouble with my dad (waiting by the garden gate for my return after a night out- oh the embarrassment!) for being an hour late for curfew as a result of this discovery...

Luckily for me however, my sons were there to pull me back to reality before I found myself wandering amongst these teens muttering dire warnings about the transience of youth and making the most of it whilst you're young and firm (like I would have listened at their age if confronted by a 40+ mother of two looking unkempt and unfashionable on the beach in glamorous Bournemouth), since Boy #1 wanted to inform me of two discoveries he had made all by himself on this sunny afternoon.

1. There is almost nothing to compare with the satisfaction of peeling sunburned skin off your own feet...*
2. ...except for, that is, answering a call of nature whilst sitting down in the sea.

So it was Rites of Passage all round today, then.


nappy valley girl 19 July 2010 at 23:37  

They're uncanny, those moments when you feel as if you could be meeting the ghost of your teenage self.

And he is quite right about peeing in the sea.....

Expat mum 20 July 2010 at 01:19  

Oh this made me smile. A friend e-mailed me the prom photo of her daugher, who's the same age as mine and I immediately thought "Do they know how gorgeous they are?"

And weeing in the sea - oh yes.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings 20 July 2010 at 03:44  

I've looked back on those moments too and wondered why I never enjoyed being young and skinny when I was young and skinny. I was never beautiful so I can't enjoy that...dang it, but the other stuff...*sigh*. Yes, I would have had the urge to do the same to those girls!

Mwa 20 July 2010 at 09:16  

Oh I feel that feeling!

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