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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Why I like my kids' friends

Teen age boys frequently get a bad rap. Some days, it would be really easy to not have much good to say about them. They tend to smell, although that lessens the older they get. They can certainly be noisy. And sometimes they can act brain damaged. Although their bodies may look adult and mature, and although they verbalize that they are mature and ready to take on the world, as the author of this website points out, adolescence is "a time when brain changes can result in high risk behaviors, addiction, vulnerability, and mental illness." So, yes, teens are a little crazy. Teen boys have their own type of craziness. Seeing as there is a preponderance of males in my family, things get a little crazy here at times. Add in other people's teen boys and crazy just might not be the most precise word. Lunatic? Demented? Maniacal?

Yet, in general, these are wonderful people.

One thing about adolescents is that they sometimes have a harder time than adults stifling that voice in their head. Oops! Out pop things that adults might never say. Oh, we'd think it, but we've learned (mostly) to keep those ideas in our heads. Some of us are better at this than others. I am particularly challenged in this realm, but I still do a better job than most teens.

So why do I like my kids' friends so much? Because they are honestly good people. And also because they joke with me about cancer...."Oh, yeh, cancer lady says we have can we say no?"

I also like them because they aren't freaked out by my baldness or my being in bed or in pajamas in the middle of the day. If my bedroom door is open, some of them will even just waltz right in, sit on the foot of the bed, and start talking. They are willing to be around us, which is more than I can say about a handful of my adult friends (only a small handful....but still).

I like them because they laugh. A lot.

I like them because they are smart and capable critical thinkers. They have fixed more than one computer issue for me, as well as helped figure out car troubles and solve other problems.

I like them because they are capable of interesting conversations. Sure, a lot of their talk centers on girls and sports, but given the opportunity, they also have a lot to say about life, love, family, politics, the future, religion, literature, film, and society in general.

I like them because they are strong. There's nothing like having strong people around to do things that require strength;)

I like them because they take out the trash.

I like them because they are competitive. They push each other to greater heights (sometimes greater heights of stupidity).

I like them because they are good friends. For the most part, my boys have been friends with their friends for quite a few years. We were looking at soccer pictures as we were packing to move in April and May of last year, and the same faces kept popping up over and over. Nathan has played soccer with some of his friends since he was 7. Aidan used to nap with one of his friends when they were toddlers and I babysat the other boy.

I like them because even when they've been in trouble with the law, it's all been in the name of good fun. Pardon me for thinking getting arrested for a snowball fight or skateboarding in the university library aren't significant crimes.

I like them because they are willing to hang out in our less than luxurious home.

I like them because, for the most part, they treat Tynan pretty well and let him hang out with them. In fact, most of them probably treat him better than his own brothers do. This is a mixed blessing. See above about that inability to filter what they are thinking from what they are saying. Hence, Tynan has had an education many grade school age kids haven't had.

I like them because they don't smoke and drink. Let's face it kids, we can smell the smoke on you. I don't smell it on these kids.

I like them because they like good music. I like (some) of them because they like less popular, more traditional music.

I like them because they play games. Most of the games are video games, but on occasion, I find the board games have been rearranged, which indicates they had them out. See above about competitiveness.

I like them because they were so very supportive and concerned about Aidan when he got hurt. Phone calls, text messages, rides. One was even so kind that he rode his bike to the hospital and then came home with us, staying by Aidan's side for a day and a half, tending to his every need.

I like them because they infuse energy into our home. Unless they are asleep, the house vibrates with their energy.

I like them because they will also hang out with the rest of the family, watching a movie, instead of isolating themselves in the family room.

I like them because they have household skillz are aren't afraid to use them. I never have to ask twice to get the table set, laundry switched over, dishwasher emptied.

I especially like them because they've been such good support for my boys while I've been in treatment. They've been good support for me, too.

Heck, I like them almost as much as I like my own kids. It's because my kids are so likable that they've chosen such good friends.


Anonymous said...

What a lovely post. You've found a good batch.

My best days are the ones in which there are a lot of teens here. The boys are the most fun, but the girls have lovely qualities, too. As I speak, five of them are scaring the crap out of themselves watching a slasher film.

(Oh, and this is Susan commenter)

Pancake Goddess said...

Ditto just about all of this, in particular the "education" my younger boys are getting.

Zukppr said...

So fortunate to have this wonderful village for you and your boyz. These blessings are truly heartwarming.

We have similar energy and comfort with my daughter's friends :)

dawn said...

One more...a shout out to Brendan...
I like them because they eat our left overs.