I should have invented a slide rule for this sort of thing.
At what age should you leave your kids alone at home? This slide rule could have a side for age, one for maturity quotient. One for boy craziness, probably, couldn’t be discounted. What of that kid in your brood who fosters a healthy obsession with setting things aflame?
(Is that just us?)
There’s serious stuff to consider, outside of the kids destroying my stash of graham crackers and provolone (Not together. That’d be gross.) There’s opening the door to strangers, unsanctioned living-room MMA, or setting a Betty Crocker cookbook on a hot stove (okay, that one was me.)
With white conservatives and Denver Broncos fans, teenagers rank among the ranks it’s still okay to belittle. They’re moody, they say. They’re unpredictable, they say. They’re a bubbling, volatile cocktail of angst and hormones and turpentine.
Okay, I made that last one up.
Natasha at OMG Parenting wrote of five parenting truths for the OMG teen years. Just this week, Andrea Mowery of About 100% posted the Most Important Lessons for Teens. “The most important thing a teen will learn,” Andrea writes, “is love.”
I’ve documented much of the less-than-stellar moments that pocked my college days.
Know what, though? It wasn’t all bad. Sure, I spent lots of time waiting for closing time at the campus Pizza Hut for free personal pan pizzas while I whiled away deadlines at the student newspaper. I slept more hours on Cone Center couches than attended labs.
And I missed out on the homecoming court because I was academically ineligible.
Academically ineligible! Not to run up and down the basketball court, but to stand on it, during halftime. There were also good moments in my nearly six years of collegiate life, not counting the time I got two Twixes out of a vending machine for 50 cents.
My friend Rob, so anti-Chevy, anti-Yankees, and anti-smoking that he would describe his own personal kryptonites (we fellows have many) would be a cute girl driving a Chevy, smoking, in a Yankees cap. So goes the ironies of life.
Cars have faces, both in front and back – and Grace will show us where else faces reside in a future (and possible recurring) guest post.
I’ll notice and acknowledge any other drivers of white Pontiac Grand-Ams, especially any dirtier than mine. I’ll still see on the road makes and models of loves had and lost. There’s so many of them. Why is that? Are there more, or are we conditioned to see them?
Man the kids on the Internet. One of my girls got thrown for a loop when, on an innocent Google search, she discovered photos of Britney Spears and Madonna – about to kiss. I know you have stories in your house, when the World Wide Web and your not-so-worldly kids collided.
Add in the clickbait factor, and, well, you’re in for a bucket and a half of trouble.
The teenagers asked for and got new devices for Christmas. Blue screens often light up their faces. They have that slack-jaw look about them, as they swipe and scroll through what I hope is just Instagram and I Funny. Maybe even a little Coach Daddy.
I’m writing about you Monday, I said. Dear Lord, she said. About what? I answered, Details of potty training, as we drove to school, just the two of us (Marie stayed home “sick.”) I’m going to tell about how we had to give you pee-pee prizes.
And how you still have to? she quipped.
I love that girl. Quick with the wit. First, sometimes, in fact. Being first has its advantages. Being second and third in the sisterhood line behind a big sis like Madison? There are huge advantages to that, too.
Life’s like that, too. I struggled over the timeout I tried to call Friday. It’s been a weekend. It started with the ultimate blogger whine of “I can’t do this right now” and led to other failures and misfires. Among them were:
A lost parking pass
A dollar-store cool-looking charging cord that doesn’t actually charge
The decision to actually write a Monday post at 1:09 a.m
I like that there are no timeouts in soccer, though.
I missed out on a chance to watch the Bears-Packers game in the best company while eating chicken wings, because I forgot there was a late Thanksgiving game. I don’t know where my phone charging cord is.
And at 1:37 a.m., I realized it’s Friday – time to answer your Go Ask Daddy questions.
Let’s see if I can finish this sucker. Fueled by two rows of monster KitKat and a good liter of Food Lion’s answer to Diet Mountain Dew, I at least have a puncher’s chance. I am feeling punchy, though.
Camdyn gives me all I can handle in a rousing round of disc golf.
We use a handicap system that keeps 10-year-old kids who rarely play and 40-somethings who play nearly every day on a competitive plane. With two holes to go, though, I had a chance to clinch a victory with a very long putt.
“I make this long one,” I said from about 25 yards away, “and I win.”
She braced and hoped to watch my shot go wayward and the match to go on. Instead: CHING! A beautiful, game-clinching putt. She scowled, turned on her heel, and marched to the next hole. She was ticked.