So riding in the car with my 14 year old last night on the way home from a meeting about a mission trip he is headed on with his youth group this summer….
ME: Are you looking forward to NY? (they are headed there for a week long mission trip to run a VBS (vacation Bible school) for kids)
HIM: Yeah. So long as the 5th graders aren’t pricks.
HIM: Well, you know how 5th graders are (that’s the grade I teach), as long as they aren’t a bunch of pricks.
ME: …(choke)…honey, why are you saying that word?
HIM: what? what word?
ME: (realizing he has ABSOLUTELY no idea!!) …honey, do you know what you’re saying?
ME: that’s a slang word for your penis.
ME: yeah, it’s a derogatory word. Actually it’s a pretty rude one. Not one you use in casual conversation. And certainly not one to use around your mommy. (laughing a bit under my breath) Though you and your buddies may say it around each other…
HIM: OH. I didn’t know it was like that. OOPS!! Sorry mommy. (this moment was so cute! I couldn’t help but grin at him)
ME: hahaha….yeah, I kinda figured you had no idea what you were saying. You know the other “p” word that stands for the female parts that you and your buddies may use with each other too? Prick is kinda on the same level as that word…would you say that around me?
HIM: OOOHHHH. No. Wow. I feel stupid.
ME: well hopefully you weren’t saying it at the meeting…
ME: that’s good
My little guy is growing up to be quite the amazing young man. He is thoughtful and respectful and seeking to know himself through the eyes of God in a way that brings peace and joy to my heart. He is not an effusive Christian. He doesn’t go around professing himself or preaching his beliefs. He is a quiet presence that seeks to help others and be in this world but not of this world – though that is a challenging task for a teenager these days.
So often society portrays a picture that is less than enriching. The television shows are rife with teen sexual relationships and adult situations that portray little to no adult support. Often, the adults are shown to be inept and self motivated and distant from their children’s lives because they are uber focused on themselves. Clothing stores sell sex through adds and suggestion that reinforces kids to believe that everyone must be doing it…and gosh, why not, it looks so fun and feels so good – WHY NOT!?
I am sometimes exhausted by the work I must to do mold my kids into the respectable people contributing to society and endeavoring to do the best they can to be themselves, successful, and satisfied with who they are as individuals. And I certainly don’t get it “right” more often than not.
But through it all, I love moments like this where the innocence shows through where they haven’t been totally beaten by society and they’re growing into strong people that I am proud to send out into the world.
I saw a poster the other day that said, “Everyone talks about leaving a better planet for our kids, why not start leaving better kids for our planet?”
I’m trying. 🙂