Late BloomersWritten by Linda Hill
I was walking around my backyard today, and noticed that my beautiful daisies were done blooming. In fact, most had already wilted and were dying. Then I noticed just a few "late bloomers." It was as if they were saying, "Wait! Don't ignore me... I'm just getting started! Aren't I beautiful?!" I was taken aback by how much those "late bloomers" stood out from all the masses of dying daisies that had already hit their prime.
It reminded me of something my mom used to tell me when I was in High School. She told me to "watch the sleepers." She was referring to those boys whe were a little "lagging" socially, who may not have the best complexion, athletic prowess, or popularity. She told me something that I have found to be SO true over the years... that quite often it is the late-bloomers that hit their prime well past the time when all the masses of "popular" kids die out. Those late ones bloom in a way that everyone notices! They are the "nerds" who end up becoming ridiculously successful; those scrawny boys who finally hit thier growth spurt and gain their coordination AFTER high school and would make any woman's heart skip a beat! (If you don't believe me, watch Patrick Dempsey as an awkward teen in "Can't Buy Me Love"... 23 years later, he's voted "Sexiest Man Alive!" Case - in - point!!) They are those studious, perhaps even anti-social boys that finally mature, find their success and make some woman very happy because they are the most loyal and faithful men around.
I've found that the same goes for girls, too. Some of the most amazing and most beautiful women I know now didn't even get asked out in High School and were definitely NOT included in the "popular" crowd. Many took years to recover from the "Ugly Duckling" syndrome... big glasses, poor coplexion, lack of fashion sense, not-so-great hair, etc. But, if you saw them now, you'd definitely pay attention!
I'm sure you all have stories from high school reunions that have manifested this truth to you. What's difficult is teaching our struggling teens that they each have their own "blooming time" and if they are LUCKY, it won't happen in high school! Those who are perfectly "blossomed" in high school tend to hit their prime early and die out. My hope for my own children is that they blossom late and slowly and that their beauty and essence in one that lasts longer than the rest.
I work with teenagers daily, and it is such a struggle to get them to see their own beauty in this world that tends to define it in the unrealistic bodies we see plastered all over the newsstand and television. The fact is this: the BEST years are AFTER high school. Isn't the objective to get through those high-pressure years with as many options open to you as possible? After all, 4 years is so small in relation to the 60 or so ensuing years.
As we get older, that perspective and those truths become so obvious. Do you share those stories with your children? I found that the ONE thing that got me through those awful middle and high school years was my mother constantly telling me stories about "late bloomers" she knew and reminding me, when I felt like I didn't fit in with all those beautiful Daisies during those years, "your time will come!" And it did. Thanks, Mom, for giving me that perspective and truth... even when I rolled my eyes at you!
For an interesting conversation with your teenaged child, ask them to finish the following sentence, "I dream of becoming..." (For more ideas, look through our Discovering Me story starter)
Linda Hill is a native of…well, nowhere really. She grew up as an Air Force brat and currently claims Littleton, CO as her home of 8 years (the longest she’s lived any one place in her life so far!) She is the mother of 5 children, two sons and a daughter who have already “flown the coop” and 2 daughters in high School. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University in Family Science and put her degree to use as she raised her large family and operated several home-based businesses while serving in many volunteer positions in her church, community and the schools. She has been married to Kent Hill for 25 years and they look forward to at least another 125! Currently she is an instructor to teens for a daily early morning religion class. She is passionate about her family, storytelling, politics and when she gets the time – locking herself in her sewing room with a chick flick and getting her “creative” on!
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