Friday, June 4, 2010

Teenagers Remain My Favorite People in the World

The title of this piece is not meant in anyway to demean my many friendships with non-teens. Heck, most of my best friends aren't teenagers. But as an age group, I find teens to be unsurpassed in their excitement and joy, their depression and their occasional dysfunction, their curiosity and their need for privacy, their ability to fall in love or into a funk, and a bunch of other things, too. There is so much to them! That's why I happily taught them for a long time and still enjoy seeing them in their natural habitat.

It's true that twice this year I wrote about school violence and bullying, but I need to believe that the most serious of these offenses are the product of a very few. In the last two weeks, we got to spend some time with some great teenagers, and if my optimism about the basic specialness of that age group had begun to pale, it returned to full blush with these visits.

A couple of Wednesdays back Linda and I went to the high school library for a "Writer's Chair" awards reception. We had helped judge the short stories and poems entered by a group of young Chittenango writers. Judging was enjoyable, but talking with them and hearing about their love for writing and their aspirations was the best.

The following Saturday gave us the chance to meet three other teens. Cassie, Bryan, and Erica came to our house to help us paint our picket fence. If you haven't ever painted pickets, you can be sure that it is both painstaking and frustrating. Our three Saturday morning teen helpers were fabulous. In return for their help, we provided some funds to help them attend Young Life Camp in Virginia this summer. They provided the physical, and we helped to pay for the spiritual. They were great kids, and we enjoyed working with them and eating donuts and pizza with them. I have a picture I took of the trio, and I sent it to their Young Life leader, but I decided not to post it here, because I hadn't asked them. Believe me though, my picture of the paint-stained, ice cream bar eating threesome is way better than the photo I pulled off the web to illustrate this posting. (The amount of money that must have been spent on orthodontia alone on the downloaded group above boggles my mind.)

I have been a little lax in my blogging of late, and I'm going to try become more disciplined to it again. I'm glad to get back by writing about kids.

1 comment:

  1. This really made me smile. As a teen-turning-adult, I joined the Army this year and if there is anything I miss the most it's the freedom of expression and emotion that other young adults my age can have.
    Encourage other 18 and 19 year olds to live life to the fullest in everything you do. You never know when it'll be taken away.. and I guess that's one of the reasons I joined. :)