Are teenagers a subspecies of humans, or a blip on the evolutionary scale of Homo sapiens?
I ask that because it appears our young children morph into these very different beings for a time before eventually becoming human once again.
I’m not just talking about our own teenager, but all of teenkind.
A teenager can be a lovable person. Ours is smart, polite, and generally has a good circle of friends. We have friends with similar teenaged kids.
But teens can also be incredibly frustrating as they push at their boundaries or refine the art of procrastination.
How about when they ignore their parents’ advice and just have to find things out on their own from personal experience?
Now, I know many parents may be nodding their heads in agreement at this point, and some might be saying, “Kids today…” But before isolating the current crop of teens, we must all take a look in the rearview mirror on our own Road of Life.
I procrastinated like crazy, was allergic to housework and chores, believed I knew best.
In other words, when my daughter, Brenna, does any of these things, I have to realize the proverbial apple does not fall far from the tree.
But she’s graceful when she dances. Where’d that come from? I have two left feet.
She’s got a very sharp wit and has mastered the art of sarcasm at a young age. My wife will blame me for the latter. Ooops. Guilty as charged (although the kid will say we are both contributors).
I often have to urge Brenna to get up on school days. I recall being OK at getting out of bed each day. Now, Mary Beth, my lovely wife, has told me tales of she and her sister getting the morning wakeup shout from their father, and they’d stick their feet out from under the covers, bang around on the floor like they were up and embracing the day, and roll over to catch more sleep.
Hmm. That was Mary’s apple I heard hitting the ground that time.
It seems it is an ageless teenaged right to have a bedroom that looks like a bomb went off in your dresser, scattering clothes about.
One thing we parents did not have is the millennial sense of entitlement that is around today.
I had a bike. If I wanted to go to a friend’s house, I’d ride there, or walk in the winter, or take public transit.
Kids today – the same ones who give you grief over your recycling habits – think nothing of a parent firing up the gas guzzler to give them a ride to a buddy’s place, or to a gathering point for teens.
Still, it could be worse. There is no way I’d have survived as my own parent.
I played with homemade explosives as a kid. (I grew up in northern Quebec in a family that owned a mining supply store.) We made our own gunpowder, smoke bombs, pipe bombs, tennis ball cannons, you name it.
I’ll take the teenaged girl who isn’t a fan of yard work and who doesn’t pick up after herself very well over the teenaged boy who was not a fan of yard work, didn’t pick up after himself, and … blew stuff up.
I may have a grey goatee these days, but if I was my own parent, I think every hair on my body, let alone head, would be grey.