We recently attended a quinceñeara for a niece of ours, Melanie. Just last year she was playing games with my 3 year old and showing her music on her cell phone. Now she looks grown up, but hasn't lost her childish charm. She took a break from all the festivities to swing with my kiddos and other young cousins in attendance. Still very much a sweet child at heart.
The padre was a cool, hip, new age priest - you know the kind. The kind that encourage, advise, and BEG young kids to slow down and enjoy life. To wait. To embrace the rest of their youth while it lasted, because once it is gone aint no getting it back. And he didn't beat around the bush about what that insinuated. Don't marry the first guy who asks, and most certainely don't lay with the first guy who finds those youthful looks attractive. He actually said those things, and I felt like standing up and applauding. Especially in a culture where birth control is often demonized and use of condoms still viewed as a admission of "dirtiness". Don't tell me people don't think that way still, I have heard it straight from the mouths of burros. There are many families who are anxious to train their daughter to be the perfect wife, and many more who think it perfectly normal for her to be considering such things at her quinceñeara.
What about college?
What about finishing high school at least?
What about finding yourself?
There are a million and one things a girl can, or should, do after her 15th birthday and before she gets married and or has children. And no one can know what those important things are for Melanie. She told me last year she wants to go to chef school after high school. I am hoping that she takes heart to the padres consejos and slows down while she still can.