It’s been awhile since my last post. Between backpacking the Rockies with 5 teens & helping my family with an unexpected medical emergency, I’ve been a little busy. However, things are finally back to seminormal & those stories are best left for another day.
Tonight it’s Fright Night. The night when all bad things happen. Rumor has it we are supposed to use every good luck charm at our disposal. So of course I decided to spill the salt, break a mirror, put a ladder over the walkway, open an umbrella in the house, & allow my teens to throw a party.
Okay so teens throwing a party isn’t part of the folklore, but I know several people who would claim it just as scary. Have fun tempting fate I say!
As a parent sometimes our kids pleasantly surprise us. Sometimes as parents we are even reminded to give our kids more credit. Tonight was one of those nights for me. Actually tonight I was starkly reminded that my teens are not clueless, life sucking creatures that never listen & always have to learn everything the hard way.
Okay, okay I’ve never really thought they were life sucking creatures, but I needed a good description to go with the picture. However, as any parent of a teen knows the other adjectives are actually fairly normal thoughts associated with raising a young adult, but it’s the whole raging hormone thing that is usually the culprit.
Tonight hormones can not be blamed for anything negative. That’s because they may have contributed to something positive. They may have helped create a competitive edge.
Two of my teens are attending a debate class. I’ve actually been a little concerned about their attention to detail level. Partially because many of the other parents know exactly what is going on at all times. Plus partially because I know my teens. Of course the reason their parents know everything is because they attend every single meeting with their children. I on the other hand sit in my vehicle and quietly wait. There’s three reasons for my seemingly uninterested attitude. Number 1, I have my own homework to complete within the scope of my graduate studies. Number 2, I don’t want my teens to think they have to have a parent with them at all times. One of these days they will no loner be teens and I don’t want to be viewed as a pacifier. Number 3 is kind of related to number 2, I simply want my teens to learn how to take notes and relay information to me about their needs. If they do not responsibly and accurately take notes then they must suffer the consequences. One of those consequences is embarrassment, another consequence could be a poor grade. Both lessons teach a form of self responsibility that only a life lesson can teach, and believe me when I say that all of my teens have had to learn these lessons.
Thankfully tonight my teens did not learn any hard lessons. Instead they excelled. They attended their first debate tournament undefeated. Although they did not receive enough points to win, I am still very proud of this first effort. I was also impressed with how quickly they improved with each debate. Oh, did I forget to mention that I did attend the tournament? Yeah, I will not attend their lessons, but I will always try to make it to their performances. And what a performance! In one debate, of this very traditional European parliamentary procedure, they were the government proposing to increase the use of new technology. You know I would have thought iPads and computers would come into play, but they did not. Instead this debate was boxed within a time period of revolutionary France and centered around medical technology. It was clever and cheap at the same time. The other team was at a total loss for how to oppose such a proposal.
I have a feeling my history buff of a son who independently studies all things ancient French was probably responsible for proposing this topic. Wow! My teens have learned something and it’s not just entirely education related either. They’ve learned how to take control and make a situation their own. I’m impressed.
The young seem to think they need to gather with those of their own kind. However, a strange thing happens with teens and especially with young women during a gathering. This age has got to be the strangest, giggliest, noisiest on the planet. The teen boys in the group had difficulty understanding the need for the girls to scream, jump and make strange noises over a simple comment or movement and instead chose to seek the safety of any empty room. They stood around in silence for a few moments looking toward the door and at each other as if in fear that the girls would find them and fill that room with shrieks. After a few minutes one boy made the comment that girls are just weird which caused all the moms in the room to smile and unsuccessfully cover our laughter. They ignored us by turning to the piano and banging out a great sample of the Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer”.
It seems that when young girls gather the only way they can communicate is by acting as strange as possible. Teen boys seem to look for sanity and the girls have none to offer at this early teen stage. Perhaps this is because my daughter as well as all her friends are into the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. All their actions and words center around the book’s plot and characters, Good-bye Harry Potter, hello Edward.
After a couple of hours watching these goofy girls, my only question was, “Did I act this silly when I was a teen.” My answer is a hopeful but uncertain, “I hope not!” After all, does anybody really know with absolute certainty that they remember of childhood with perfect clarity? It is doubtful although I’m sure there are a select few who actually do, but I suspect many more only pretend they remember every minute detail. For myself, I will entertain the thought that I did not act like my brain switched to the goofy mode.
Although the girls did act strange at first, eventually everybody came together and enjoyed the afternoon. It is unmistakable that teens need an outlet to meet and chat. Today was just that type of day. Here’s hoping for many more similar moments of teenage goofiness.