Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Being a Teenager

I think I've forgotten what it is like. Teenagerness I mean.

My friend Jenn is part of the Big Sister program. Her little sister C is a smart, funny, awesome thriteen year old. C is the combination of toughness and exuberent childhood.

The toughness is what I have forgotten. In the adult world of passive aggressiveness and veneer politeness, C will remind you how to stand up for yourself. Not a bad reminder I think.

She is at the point of finding her idenity and owning it. Watching her do so is facinating. I learn something from C. She reminds me that I too have my own space and not to yeild it so easily to others.

I think that giving into all what C wants would be easy because she is young. However, doing so would be a mistake. Being a teenager is also about learning others' boundries as well as your own.

On Thursday night I, C, Jenn, her husband Gino, and Jenn's mom Joan were gathered at Jenn's house for dinner. C, Joan, Gino and I were in the kitchen. Gino was perparing the chicken while the rest of us talked.

C: This music sucks. Let's put on something different.
Joan: Gino is listening to this right now.
C: But I hate it.
Joan: But he enjoys it and we are going to listen to it now.
C looks at me: This music sucks. I hate this music.
Me: Learn tolerance girl.
C pouts and leaves the room to find Jenn.

Not ten minutes later C and Jenn were back in the kitchen. C was bouncing up and down about how much she wanted to see Ice Age 2. Music forgotten.

Jenn is a great big sister. She delights in C's company and is good at gently guiding her through the rough waters of teenagedom.


Voix said...

I could never do my job if I didn't love teenagers. This is a lovely post. Thanks!

Michèle, with one L.

my0p said...

Wow, great post. Those times were half my life ago. How time flies; I was only speaking about teenagerhood with the other half last night and how I precieved what I thought were great and pitiful teachers in high school; I had wondered just how different would I think about them now after having been and adult for close to 2 decades.