I am a late bloomer. Or so they said.
My blooming had nothing to do with the flower, rather my late blooming had to do with where my birthday fell in the year. When I started school, the cut off to start first grade was December. My birthday is in November, so in September, this 5 year old started first grade. I had already went through kindergarten at the age of 4. And it was always a struggle for me in the beginning because I was really a year behind my peers. It showed everywhere, from having a difficulty learning how to comprehend a story to still wanting to play with dolls when the other girls wanted to play with boys to wearing bobby socks instead of nylons. My mother always said she should have kept me back that first year, and honestly, she should have. I know that because I have many friends who are 10 or 11 months older than me and they had no problems in school or boys or nylons. The other evidence is that I did catch up with the comprehension, wanting to play with boys and wearing nylons — only a year later. I was considered a “late bloomer”.
Let’s take a look at the other “late bloomers”. Take Rodney Dangerfield who did not start his comedy act until he was 42. Grandma Moses started painting in her 70s and Colonel Sanders began his franchises in his 60s. Laura Ingalls Wilder did not publish her first “Little House” novel until she was in her 60s.
Now that I am in my 60s, I am publishing my first collection of short stories — and then on to my series of books. Move over Laura Ingalls Wilder, I am following in your footsteps. Actually, I look around and see the talent that is exuding from people who have been consumed with everyday life and now that they are retired they can pursue their passion. Is that a “late bloomer”? If you want to put a label on it, yes, but I think not, I think we are aging like fine wine. And our wine is our passion.
I have one friend who sings. We recently talked and I asked her what she would have pursued in life if she had not taken on the role of mother and caretaker. She said she would have developed her voice. Actually, she has a good voice and with a bit of practice and determination, she can succeed with a life she only glimpsed at before babies and working for the man took hold. Of course, she will not sing at the Met, but she will sing if she wants to. For me, I will not be awarded a Pulitzer, but I will write for enjoyment, and possibly make other people laugh or think by my writing. And that is what is all about anyway. Doing what you love at any age, for any reason.
Let’s take a look at the common definition of “late bloomer” — refers to young children who develop skills such as reading, language and social later than other children. Really? Those so called “late bloomers” include Albert Einstein because he suffered from speech difficulties as a child. Then, take a good look at the dyslexia people of the world — the Richard Bransons, the Charles R Schwabs, the Pablo Picassos, the Tom Cruises, or the Whoopi Goldbergs. But the best one of all was Thomas Edison. This man, as a little boy, was considered hopeless and sent home to not be educated. Instead, his mother home schooled him, and well, we know what he went on to do.
There are different thoughts in the schools today where they are trying to get away from the labels. But they are still there. My only thought is that all those “late bloomers” will someday be able to follow their passions and enter the world of us other “late bloomers.” And, oh, when they do, how sweet it is!
Have a great weekend …