Friday, October 3, 2014

Observations on Today's Teenagers

I'm fresh off an eight-day stay with two teen-age grandsons. What a completely different experience from raising my own kids! Granted, I only had one son who lived - these boys are the offspring of that son. Their third son is currently serving his mission. My son always said he probably missed his brother more than we missed having a second son. That may have been true when his three sisters bugged him and one shared his journal with a girl friend. (Not sure that breach has even yet been repaired!)

But these two grandsons are a fun mix of his good and not-so-good characteristics. It is fun to see, and yet there are times I wanted to tell them their behavior was not acceptable now, nor was it from their father all those years ago.

The 13-year-old is totally in the moment. He never misses a thing. He can quote conversations verbatim that you didn't even realize he heard. He is a talented musician - plays a wicked piano and is now taking voice lessons. He sings from the minute he gets up until he falls asleep at night - much to the annoyance of his 15-year-old brother because he isn't singing softly, but at the top of his lungs! He spends as much time fixing his hair as I do - maybe more. He has an immaculate and well-organized closet. His shirts are color-coordinated. He's extremely observant and questions everything. Why do you do it this way? Why? Where? How? Fun conversations with this one! And he loves shopping. Being the youngest, he got to do lots of shopping while his mom was redoing their house. She is working at being an interior designer. He is thinking of being an architect. He loves taking long solitary walks.

The 15-year-old is something else. Totally lost in his phone and music. Never without ear-phones. Also spends much time with his hair and grooming. He is an individual who doesn't want to be classified with the crowd. He started wearing headbands to school and tie-dyed a bunch of shirts while I was with them. His friends call him a hippie, but he's certainly not laid-back like that generation that we are familiar with was. He also is musical (their mom plays the piano beautifully and sings). He plays the piano and last year began guitar lessons. He's quite good and loves blues combined with rock. Thank heaven! Couldn't have stood eight days of rock! He also loves to bake cookies and has the recipe memorized for amazing chocolate chip cookies.He is a skateboard star - doing things that frighten me! His dad's dare-devil streak certainly came full bore to him!

They are too busy to eat unless I force them to sit down to the table - then they devour whatever is there and are gone again! Getting them to bed was impossible, though they both had set bedtimes - 9:30 and 10:00 respectively - but it never happened! My instructions were to take their phones when they went to bed - and I'm convinced that if I hadn't, the 15-year-old would have stayed up all night on his!

I guess the electronics are the main difference in raising my kids and staying with these boys. Homework is done with Google. Texts are sent to teachers about assignments. Everything is instant communication and constant! Although I was very happy for it so I could text them and say "I'm coming to pick you up. Be out front." Or "Where are you? It's time to come home." or they could text me. "Gramma, I forgot this. Will you bring it to me when you pick me up from seminary?"

It is a new world, but some things never change. Boys will always be boys and try your patience and press to test at every opportunity. I'm just grateful they are good boys! What would I have done if they were juvenile delinquents!!

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