As I was driving into the City today to get my gums lanced I was cut off by a Prius with a bumper sticker proclaiming “Power to the peaceful.” While I agree I very much wished she hadn’t cut me off. I’ve stopped flipping people off, though, and even stopped giving them “Big Face” as I drive by them. I learned my lesson when, a while back, my two year old daughter repeated something very unsavory one day. Then the guy I flipped off chased our car and I almost didn’t get away because I was distracted by my daughter using my exact tone of voice. And, yes, the Prius driver was a she. I spied her feminine locks as she reached over for something in the glove compartment – gloves? And yet, she still managed to cut me off.
The Son has begun his complete separation from me. They break your hearts, sons. Way different than daughters. But then I suppose daughters reserve that special heartbreak for their dads. I watched him toggle back and forth between the computer, the cereal bowl and the ALCS playoffs – all on a swiveling chair that magically migrated from my room/office to the common area (also known as the living room), and then be irritable with only me for nagging him about stuff he felt was beneath him, or possibly only for his pending valet: backpack check, clean clothes, $9,000 teeth hygiene, and what-happened-to-that-$20. And while it is entertaining to watch someone calculate slopes while holding a bat, I’m pretty sure it isn’t efficient.
One of the 13-year-olds did say something the other day, which I thought deserved some consideration: she likened President Obama’s job to that of the middle school DJ in that neither can seem to please anyone. The middle school DJ, it should be noted, has historically spent many hours crying over this situation; I can only hope Obama does not have a similar reaction. Or, if he does, I wish him a cleansing and productive outcome.
I think one of the heartbreaks of teenage-dom is the realization the world is pretty damn average, with glimmers of magic, hope and enlightenment, but no clear path to reach it, or, very often, insurmountable obstacles fashioned by many, many generations before you. Your parents are lame, fallible and they probably wear embarrassing outfits. There’s a boatload of school you still have to complete in order to go to another school, which you’re not sold on but your lame parents are. Your friends are changing or leaving or pissing you off or they have boyfriends/girlfriends you haven’t acquired yet. Oh, and your skin is betraying you. And you have no money. All of which is light years better than living in poverty or where there is real despair. And now this too has become reality and there is so much to think about and take responsibility for! And most days you still can’t remember to brush your teeth!
So, I have no answer. Didn’t then, don’t now. All I can do is watch them break our hearts and stumble through, and try not to fling dishes at them.