Teenagers: Me/Them

Today’s memories and such are brought to you by the wonderful people at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads via the song video, “Watch the Corners” by Dinosaur Jr. I have no plan more than to write a few words and remember 🙂

As a substitute teacher, I am used to following the teacher’s instructions, babysitting, hitting the call button for back up from admin. Here’s a Truth: I enjoy teaching the “harder to teach” kids. The ones with anger, problems at home and school, segregated into a separate classroom at times.

I grasp for words to explain why I love teaching them, except to say that I remember being an outsider, ignored, pain that filled me up and ran me like gasoline from one week to the next. Not “getting the memo” about friends, sports, doing homework. My eyes would always betray me, tears plastering my face at their own whim.

Looking closer to home, I have three girls: two are 16 and the baby is 10. Not doing homework, staying overnight at “friends” houses without meeting their parents. Escaping out the window to go driving downtown to look for “fun.” Plans for freedom in all types of flavors: cotton candy love, “You don’t know how I feel” rocky road, metropolitan dreams.

My head is playing volleyball between sentimentality and stressful decisions. Almost thirty years ago and yet I remember being them. I’ve caught myself thinking that I wouldn’t wish teenager-hood on my worst enemy. Then smiling when my students or daughters do something that remind me of the good times full of wonder and curiosity.

I pause, unsure how to finish this post. Really not caring if my daughters read it (the freedom of being older!). I think, no matter where you are in your life, there is struggle and memory. Try to look for those perfect lightening bug moments. They are there.

Photo Courtesy of James Douglas over at Unsplash Images

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5 thoughts on “Teenagers: Me/Them”

  1. They are there, aren’t they? The first time I watched the video it brought up some of those moments for me, for sure. I love your reflection here… with a son who’s 13 and my daughter 11, all of these moments are right around the corner for us, too.

    1. It was an interesting video to watch..reminded me a bit about when MTV was still “a big deal.” It’s hard, as a very proud momma (sounds like you are as well!) to decide which lessons are good for them and which can be quite dangerous. I had a rough childhood and so I understand where my students are coming from. But when it comes to my own kids, it’s a very slippery slope. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my writing.

      I feel pulled towards writing more non fiction essays. My ultimate goal is to submit some of them and to allow those rejection and acceptance letters come in. What kind of writing do you enjoy above all the possibilities?

      1. Very nice… keep it going! Your voice is loud and clear. I am very drawn to poetry, though occasionally I get in a short-fiction groove (not currently, not for a while now) and once I managed to write a novel. Which is in a box under my bed. 🙂 It’s really poems for me.

  2. Nice write. I’ve never been a parent and never been around many young teens, but I can feel your pride in your children.

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