I know, because I am one.
I'm spending some time with a couple young adults this break; one is just in college, one a couple of years out. The one in college has matured a lot in the past few months. If I ask hir to do something, it just gets quietly done, not hesitating, fretting, just quietly done. Zie doesn't SEE things that need to be done, mostly, isn't thinking ahead about what needs to be done, but if I ask, they get done, and done appropriately.
The younger teen, on the other hand, is way less confident, doesn't see stuff even when asked, fusses a bit (but still, very cooperative for a teen). There's a sort of vague quality to hir doing stuff, even something as basic as mixing pancake batter, which most adults (in my pancake mixing experience) do rather quickly by hand, takes five minutes, and isn't quick at all in hir hands. The younger one gives me that "adults be crazy" look. A lot.
I never wanted to be a parent, and am very happy with my decisions that way, but interacting with these teens, I think I could have been a decent parent to teens, but not when I was much younger. (A baby would have left me crying on the floor, though.)
I guess what I don't think a lot about day to day but have noticed in interacting with the teens, is that at some point in my life, I went from being that younger teen to being someone who notices when something needs done, who feels pretty capable of getting things done, and who does stuff. It's not that, for example, I like putting gas in the car, but I keep an eye on the gas gauge, plan a bit ahead about getting gas, and get the gas without fussing or worrying.
(I do feel more anxious if someone else is going to be needing to eat what I'm cooking, though, for example. I guess I'm confident about doing stuff for myself, but less confident about doing stuff when other people might have a strong opinion about it?)
And now, for your viewing pleasure, more snowy owl pictures.
The owl photos make me very happy. And interacting with young people emerging from the shell is also happy-making. The ones who never emerge...they scare me.ReplyDelete
In my writing group, one of the other writers read a pretty scary story about a guy who ran out of gas during a blizzard with his two very small kids in the car, and what happened next (bad things).ReplyDelete
My kid (16 now) asked me several times on the way home what the guy could have done, once he had run out of gas. "What should he have done, Mom? What *was* the right thing to do?"
"Baby," I had to tell her finally, "the right thing to do was not to run out of gas."
She stared at me, aghast.
"That, or not be driving in that weather." I spread my hand. "That's why we have forebrains. Right? To learn to look ahead? Once he ran out of gas, in a blizzard, on that road, all his options were bad ones."
The owls are lovely. We have a beautiful hawk that lives nearby. I get to see him often, hunting the pastures.
Oh, yes - adulthood is planning ahead. So there is food in the house, gas in the car, etc. At least for those of us who can afford these things easily, of whom I am one. Also, you know that food doesn't automatically appear on the table, so you know that planning for cooking has to take place. It seems so simple, but I realize that parts of it are very difficult.ReplyDelete
Some days I have to remind myself about their still-developing brains, the unfinished prefrontal cortex, the limited executive function, because otherwise I would go mad in a roomful of teenagers (and these are very well-curated teenagers and generally extremely nice kids!). They LOOK almost grown, some of them are taller than I am, but inside, they are still a long way from fully cooked.ReplyDelete