I distinctly remember it, that unfortunate divide that can be between teenagers and parents. Why when we need our parents most, do we revert to language that has the quality of caveman speech? I am sure grunts are more than some parents get with their young person.
I also distinctly remember my parents being quite good at breaking through this wall when I would put a good Berlin, up. They had a way of conversing with me and including me that destroyed my silence and made me relevant and heard. I was very lucky!
The breaks thru moments were at odd times. There was the hacky sac phase at 15. My mother would play hacky sac with me after work. (I am sure it was just what she wanted to do after a long day of work) My heart’s content would spill out. There were the cooking and car moments. My dad and I would talk when he cooked. Then sometimes the words would come out during car rides. While they may have needed the time to themselves, I was asked along on many a ride and outing. Venturing with them at time, when I could have been with friends, opened my small world of rural living to a more cosmopolitan outlook, early on. They made themselves available and it was everything to this self conscious girl, who was mature beyond her years in some ways, but as unsteady as a child on a bike in others.
Music was a conduit between us, as were political discussions. They introduced me to the greats like: Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young, Crosby, Stills, and Nash. With this music, my social conscience was raised and my soul was stirred. Shared political discussion also became a way to share outrage over an unjust teenage world and world at large. Once again, these things broke thru the awkward and sometimes angst ridden years between childhood and full- fledged adult hood, and channeled these feelings.
I was reminded of these things reading a great blog post today from The New York Times. In the “Bond of Blueberry Jam,” “Motherlode” blogger Susan Sachs Lipman talks about bonding with her eighteen-year-old daughter while they made blueberry jam, a summer tradition and ritual. These times are so important. Whether it is hacky-sac or blueberry jam, let us look for those break thru moments with the young adults in our lives. Today I am reflective and reminded about what it meant….