Bernice Paul

G Day Story: Bernice

Bernice is from Vancouver and a Co-Founder of a local baby + kids clothing brand, Wuchild. She has two daughters, Bowie and Pasha.
Bernice PaulMy name is Bernice and I was always in a big hurry to grow up. With two older sisters, I felt like I had to catch up, to prove I had the chops, the brains, the brawn.

My oldest sister always seemed rather like an adult to me. She got the boobs early and it turns out she also got her period when she was only 11. My middle sister and I were more alike. We looked like opposites (she was taller and lanky; I was shorter and pudgy), yet people thought we might be twins. I suppose it’s because we were both kind of androgynous and dorky. We stuck together a bit more, but that only lasted until she skipped grades, started high school, and left me in the dust of Grade 6.

It’s hard to know it when it’s happening, but now when I look back, I wish I’d taken the time to enjoy it a bit more: the last years of being a kid. Of still having the freedom to explore and make big mistakes (relatively speaking) and not have massive consequences to face. I took everything so seriously! Somehow life already felt like such a Big Job.

So anyway, with all this hurrying to grow up and catch up with my sisters, I totally overshot it. I mean, it took me a few years, but when it happened some time in Grade 10, it almost felt like an overnight transition from pre-pubescent Bernice to teenager Bernice. She was suddenly “wise beyond her years” and frequently “mistaken for the eldest” (which is fun in your teens and maybe 20’s but not so much in your 30’s and beyond). I’ll admit I had a lot of fun during this stage of life. It felt like doors were opening and things were happening and the whole world was waiting for me.

But it would have been there waiting, even if I had slowed down and enjoyed myself more on my way there. I really didn’t have to hurry so much. I would tell my kids this if they ever seem in a hurry to grow up.

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