What did you most want at thirteen?

For me it wasn’t bigger breasts or Boots17 latest or even a boyfriend. I mean I sort of did want a boyfriend but only in the abstract. I probably did long to be the kind of girl who knew how to get, and then what to do with a boyfriend, but since I wasn’t, I would have been too terrified to actually have one then. No, for me at thirteen I still wanted good grades at school, and for the cool girls to stop bullying me, and to win the county gymnastics competition.


I wish, oh how I wish, I could have whispered into the ear of the girl I was then that everything would work out all right. How much angst I could have spared myself if I had known that I would meet a good man, marry him, have kids, and live somewhere-ever-after. But then, I wasn’t the kind of girl who would have admitted to wanting all those things then. In those days I was going to be a physicist, or educational psychologist, or criminal lawyer; without really knowing what any of those things were. I certainly was not going to be a wife and mother. Certainly not a house variety of wife or a stay at home variety of mother. I’d have been horrified at the prospect of such domesticity. Little did I know that this would bring me such bliss.

I was a feminist and feminists would not be doing other people’s laundry when they grew up.

At thirteen I wanted to know that I was special, and that I would be special. I still looked to my parents and my grades for this. I was still a bit appalled at what was happening to my body. That didn’t feel special to me then. I was embarrassed by the new hair and curves. I preferred my girl-body. I had yet to discover the power of being desirable.

At thirteen I was just embarking on my journey towards womanhood. At thirteen this was not a journey I felt particularly confident about making. At thirteen I didn’t really want to become a woman – at least, not yet.

I wonder what you most wanted at thirteen… and what you imagine today’s thirteen year old girls wish for…  (I’d love for you to reply in the comments box below)


Posted on 27 March 2013
Musings: Parenting teenagers, Parenting girls, Coming of age
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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