The year was 1987 and the Summer weather was balmy. The sunny days were bright and my bangs were tall. “Tiger Beat” magazine and “Sweet Valley High” books littered my bedside table, adorned with half-used tubes of Bonne Belle lipgloss and Love’s Baby Soft perfume bottles. I was one Rave hairspray-using, blue eyeshadow-wearing, acid washed jeans-sporting preteen and it was good to be alive.
But what manages to leave the biggest impact to my retro flashback was the memory of my beautiful wall poster sporting a very becoming picture of my crush-of-the-moment, Johnny Depp circa 21 Jump Street. I distinctly remember his medium-wash denim jacket hugging his lean body and the come-hither look on his chiseled face. And I was in love. With a poster. And given the fact that the chances of me meeting Mr. Depp and him falling deeply in love with an 11 year-old girl were, let’s say nil to none, the poster was about as close as I would get to a real relationship with the young actor. But that particular Summer marked the beginning of my obsession with him and that wall poster supplied the material for many a daydream.
I never imagined that I would be experiencing this young love again, this time vicariously through the very innocent heart of my 8 year-old daughter, Avery. She has set her sights on someone, folks. The target: Justin Beiber, teenage superstar extraordinaire.
It began with a simple ‘Baby, Baby” iTunes download and then quickly progressed to (supervised) Google searches and the occasional magazine article. I will have to admit that it was a bit odd for me to witness her obsessive behavior at such a young age. Initially I thought she had unfortunately inherited her mother’s excessive hormones and started imagining many future nights of sitting guard outside her bedroom window but in talking to my fellow 2nd-grader moms I’m learning that this phenomenon is happening to all the girls. Justin Beiber has concocted some kind of magic love spell and Avery and all her buddies are smitten.
So now Avery’s walls are adorned with the adoring gaze of one Mr. Beiber and her daydreams undoubtedly star the young and handsome crooner. I’ve handed over the “crush” baton to my firstborn and I’m not entirely sure I’m ready for it.
It’s the dawn of a new age, my friends, and I envision many “but, I love him“s in my future.