Maybe it’s inevitable if you go shopping with a brand new teenager, you’ll end up with not-so-grown-up glittery blue nail polish on your toes….
While walking the ‘streets’ of the giant Westfield shopping centre in Stratford (East London) this weekend with (niece) L, my boot was irritating my very slightly (and possibly permanently) enlarged left ankle. But not enough to stop us walking to the nail salon, checking out the Swarovski crystal jewellery shop, having lunch with (husband) J, at an ‘American’ diner, and having Cherry Bomb and Peaches & Cream ice creams. And then ending up at the Magnolia Silver jewellery stand where my niece gets her first ‘real’ piece of jewellery – a sterling silver and black onyx necklace. Quite a grown-up choice. She’s very reluctant to let me buy it for her…. until she finds out we can get it half price – her grandmother’s ‘bargain’ genes have come through to the next generation. Why such a treat? Lovely L is 13. If she were fully Jewish, she would be a Bat Mitzvah (yes… you don’t have one, you become one)… she’d become responsible for her actions, a full-fledged and responsible person within her community. I really like the idea of announcing this to the community and allowing the 13 year-old to take up their position and recognise that from now on, everything is changing…from now on you have to take more responsibility, be aware of what is right and what is wrong and think more for yourself. And conversely mum and dad have to slacken the ropes…which I think is altogether the harder bit. A celebration of this change, this coming of age, should definitely be more part of our culture, I think. Kind, thoughtful, L would have no problem with this.
I am possibly holding my leg back by thinking of it as not being fully capable….but, it seems to be getting easier to skip down the stairs, barefoot, without thinking about tripping, without noticing what my foot is doing, without me having to keep an eye on it. My Royal Ballet career is a way off, but I’m still seeing a picture of a beautiful foot, on tip-toe…taking more responsibility (OK, more weight then) and (possibly for the first time?) growing into the foot it was always meant to be…