What we’re talking about today (with my teens)

“Can I get my belly button pierced?”

“No”

“Why not.”

“Because I said so. Don’t bring it up again.”

OK I have to admit that one came out of the blue.

“Hey mom, look water falling from the sky.”

Wow. It rained. Not much, but it rained.

The weather. Freezing in far off parts of the United States but here in California…the hills are still a dull brownish gray. The only green is where Teddy cleared the fire line behind our house. It has rained once, and only for about an hour, since October. Before that maybe once since May. Everyone is going out to the lake to see the old Gold Rush towns and bridges that have been exposed by the lack of lake. I’m noticing the smaller lake by my house starting to drop and wonder if old settlements and the original river bed will be exposed by spring.

Back in the drought of the late 1970’s my brother Val and I drove across the bed of Folsom Lake. About a year after that it rained again. The lake filled up. Then everyone was talking about 100 year floods. Just last year people were still saying our area could be the next New Orleans (and old levee issue plus the building of homes where homes should have never been built.)

100 years ago downtown the houses are built with the first story being high off the ground due to a history of floods. Everyone used to have a small boat “just in case.” The good old days. You wouldn’t believe the mud.

Then the subject came up of stupid adults who should know better (than to behave as they do.) A friend (a teen my kids go to school with) gets nasty mean text messages from his mother’s boyfriend. He doesn’t live with his mother, but needless to say, the boyfriend feels the need to be an asshole jerk-off and send this good A+ student hate messages. What is wrong with some people.

It reminded me of a story my dad told me about his childhood a million years ago. When my dad was 16 he was sent to help an uncle dig a ditch. The uncle taunted my father without mercy. This was due to the fact that my dad could read and write. He lived in a house with books and ideas. The uncle said “you think you’re better than me city boy.” After some more digging and insults passed the uncle threatened to kill my dad. So my 16 year old father whacked his uncle on the side of the head with a shovel and knocked him out. My dad was never bothered by his uncle again.

Unfortunately kids can’t just clock someone with a shovel these days and not get into serious trouble. Too bad. I figure the jerk-off who is texting our friend is threatened by the fact that his girlfriend has a smart successful child. The boyfriend is also a bully of the first order. I don’t understand women (and men) who put a new lover before their own children. I will never understand that. I also never understood how people who don’t like kids insist on dating people who have children. Assholes.

Then we talked about how some adults will sexually abuse teens – because they think they can get away with it. There was a story in the news about a girl who finally came out on YouTube about her experiences and everything finally hit the fan for the abusive teacher involved.

I told my kids about a friend of mine who was molested years ago by a responsible adult – her orthodontist. She said that when that happens kids feel helpless to do anything. They feel like they aren’t important. They feel worthless. They feel like nobody cares. She told her parents years later and they said nothing. They didn’t show outrage (as she would if it had happened to her own kids.) The just changed the subject. They were more worried about her smoking with her friends (something none of them did) or making out with boys her own age than her being safe around adult predators. She couldn’t go to them back then and even now there was nothing. It was her word against a respected family man with a lot of education and money. My teens are puzzled and angered by this attitude. So am I.

Please let all teens know that even if their parents might not listen or might be uncomfortable subjects that there is always an adult at school who will listen. Or call 911. Put those perverts in a cell where they belong.

This morning we talked about why politicians take bribes, why there are so many shootings, who should go to the skate meet on Superbowl Sunday aside from the person skating, the need for new jeans, college and the dangers of being a journalist in a war zone.

We talked about music. We talked about all of my teen’s friends. They’re fortunate to have so many good friends.

We’ve talked a lot about the upcoming Winter Olympics. The one to watch is Jason Brown (men’s figure skating.) He is a joy to watch.

On the way out the door I noticed we were all wearing the same thing. Black shirt, dark jeans, black shoes, mismatched socks. All three of us. I do love my kids. We all agreed that their dad would never wear mismatched socks. Oh well.

Have a good weekend everyone and remember TALK WITH YOUR KIDS. It is the best thing you will ever do.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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