Earlier today I was driving down one of the busiest streets in my city, when I saw three men riding bicycles approaching from the opposite direction. They stopped, and appeared to be looking at a homemade map, clearly uncertain which way they were going.
What made this remarkable was one of the men was dressed like Raggedy Ann, pinafore and all, with a red yarn wig and rosy cheeks. He was unshaven and wore paint-spattered jeans under his doll getup, and as he started riding again (apparently they’d determined some sort of direction), he put on sleek sunglasses.
I’m guessing they were headed to some sort of party, where he would either cause great joy or profound embarrassement for his offspring, depending on how old they might be. After conversations yesterday with two friends dealing with fiendish teenagers, I found myself hoping perhaps at least one of his children was between the ages of 13 and 15, and was about to be mortified…and momentarily speechless.
There’s great joy when a baby is born. Yes, it’s a lot of work, with sleepless nights to add to the increased responsibility and change in lifestyle. But it’s nothing, from all I’ve observed, to the work involved in raising a teenager.
Over the years I’ve had countless parents of teenage boys and girls say to me, “If only I could get rid of them for the next two or three years — and reclaim them once they’re decent human beings again.”
Not a deal too many people are likely to enter into, so parents, you’re stuck. But why not have a little fun? Take a cue from this man with no shame, who braved the cold and laughter from strangers simply to bring…well, I can only imagine what he was bringing and where, but the destination hardly matters.
Show you’re in charge by showing nothing phases you.
Tomorrow is the Super Bowl. You can really outdo yourself on this day with outlandish fan gear. Never mind who your team might be. The face paint, cheeseheads (yes, I know Green Bay didn’t make it — but cheeseheads! how embarrassing!), any number of other team-specific paraphenilia. Do it up right.
Your reward for all of this? Your teenager just might lock him or herself in his or her room for the duration of the Big Game.
Photo courtesy Pixabay