Dr. Plastic Picker’s Thoughts: The age of In-Betweenness
May 15, 2020
I was sitting on a giant Snorlax waiting for my daughter to finish her nightly routine, and for me to tuck her in. She is taller than me now, and I was half asleep petting our fluffy black small dog. My daughter came out and laid on the floor, and watched me pet our dog who is really her dog. And I woke up and looked at her and I said, “If I had known you when I was twelve, I’m not sure if I would have been your friend?” My daughter looked a bit taken aback. I continued, “I think I would have been jealous of you. You are so nice, so smart and pretty and I think I would have only been your friend if you liked Star Trek.” My daughter smiled and said, “That doesn’t make sense because I’m half you.” She is used to my nonsensical comments here and I had had a tiring and frustrating day at work. She proceeded to tell me about her day. She is generally a much quieter person than I was at the same age.
Our daughter is at the age of in-betweenness. She is inbetween girlhood and womanhood and inbetween wanting me there and needed me to let go. For girls this in-between age can be the formable years where they add to their intellectual, physical, psychological and moral skill-set – that will allow them to emerge equipped and capable from the in-betweenness. Or for girls, this is the time that they can be influenced by others and have those seeds of doubt about their competence, intelligence and bodies planted unbeknowst to you.
Yesterday, I got 10,000 steps in because I went on three long walks. One walk was early in the morning before a litter-picking session. The second walk was with our daughter and our dog around the block. We wore our quarantine masks, and walked around our neighborhood. A car made an erratic U turn at some point and came very close to us, somewhat too close to our daughter. I reminded her to never get into car with strangers, never to walk outside without us or her older brother. She is used to me interjections about safety. She wears comfortable sweaters when we go on our walks, and explains to me why she chose a particular color each day.
The last walk was with Mr. Plastic Picker. Mr. Plastic Picker isn’t allowed to go on our walks with our dog, because our dog misbehaves with him and we are trying to correct some of her bad habits. But we walked just husband and wife last night. I asked him if we could head in a different direction, and walk toward the commercial district is. There was a flower I wanted to see. Mr. Plastic Picker grudgingly agreed.
And there it was, the fried-egg flower, Matilija poppy that is native to our chaparral canyons. It is flourishing and growing around a nondescript lamppost. And the flower has this beautiful large bloom inches in diameter. Simple and elegant. And it bloomed in an in-between place because no one bothered it and it was protected from other parasitic plants because no one could find it.