June 2022


The Teen

So, I was a parent for just over a week.

And no, the kid was not genetically related to me.

However watching The Teen was an interesting experience for me. As most of you are aware, I have had no interest, whatsoever, in having kids of my own. However there has been a slight and subtle shift in the past year as I’ve started to think that having kids might not actually be that bad.

Certainly, I would never want to raise infants: I have zero interest in changing diapers, listening to babies scream, or anything related to small helpless children. What started to shift is that I could picture myself raising teenagers—there’s something about being able to communicate with somebody and get an understandable response back.

The Teen was exactly that, a teenager: 14 years old, freshman at a local high school, and all around great guy.

I have no doubt that The Teen is an incredibly intelligent, polite, and sensitive guy who should, assuming nothing bad happens, should turn into either a perfect Metrosexual or a very nice gay guy (I’m betting on the former). Not only that, but The Teen’s a perfect match for Bloomington’s eclectic diverse liberal scene: Nerd. Dungeons and Dragons Buff. Vegetarian. Wrestler. Band Member.

However, he was a lot of work.

Like all teenagers, he likes to stay up late, despite the fact that he has to get up early for school (hey, that sounded like me at that age), and due to poorly scheduled school buses (hey, like me in high school), he has to seek alternative transportation to school (I took the public bus, he has Mom and Me). I ended up being thankful that he was a member of the wrestling team, otherwise he would have been home at 3:15 everyday by school bus. The downside to wrestling was that I got to pick him up at 6:45 after practice and drive him home or to the library.

So what does that make me think about having a teenager?

Well, I’m no longer quite so sure. He was incredibly articulate and interesting—when you could get him to talk (like all 14 year olds, he has an allergic reaction to being around immediate authority figures, of which I was one), but he’s a good one. I hesitate to imagine what raising a bad kid would be like.

His Mom suggests it would be easier because you could just give up.

However, I’m not so certain. Constantly getting your kid out of trouble could become annoying and time consuming after awhile.

What was nice was the fact that I had him for a limited time—essentially I was able to borrow a kid and see what it was like, and, quite frankly, I could see borrowing him again. Since he’s a good kid, and, consequently, it was easy to forget he was 14. Until, of course, I tripped over his backpack which he dropped just inside the front door.

And then I suddenly had flashbacks.

4 comments to The Teen

  • Annie

    I remember our flight to TLL with the screaming child on the seat right behind us. You were holding your ears singing something like ‘Thanks God I’m gay, thanks God I won’t have children’. That was so funny!!!

  • koko

    I thought he was great because he was a nerd but most of all…he liked my chili 🙂

  • Everyobdy loved your Chili!

  • Ed

    Once again the good old US of A is left far behind by the rest of the civilized world. I’m speaking about England allowing Civil Unions among same sex couples. Even they can’t see letting every couple have the same kind of marriage that every other person has regardless of the gender of the couple. But at least they are not pulling the catch 22 trick that is being used here to keep gays down. I read in the Herald-Times that a gay couple were denied being able to adopt a child because they were not married. They of course could not be allowed to marry or it would be the end of the world as we know it. So, the homophobics passed a law making same sex marriage illegal. They must not be allowed to raise a child becuase they would certainly change him or her over to being gay.
    It seems the religous right will not be happy until every liberal, Democrat, Lesbian, Gay man, and any one else who opposes there totalitarian control of the government are put behind walls and fed bread and water so there beliefs can not be spread to the conservative right who believe people are only poor because they don’t know how to invest their money properly. Whew, I am glad I got that off my chest, thansks. Ed