Monday, October 10, 2016

The Universe, My Teen and Me

At some point after kids turn 13, they stop trusting your experience as having weight, until you turn the table on them and ask an adult question.

"So, what do you want to do after high school?" is a question that generally elicits one of two responses.  

Response 1:  Stare at one's sneakers until the question goes away.
Response 2:  Do anything else other than answer.

When I asked my son, "Can you name five careers you could imagine yourself possibly doing, things that you think would be cool to do?"   He nearly bore a hole in the floor from his intense stare at his shoes.

Not wanting to have silence as an answer, (since a career as a mime seems to have limited upward income potential) I opted for a subtle approach.

"Hey son?  Can you read Anna a bedtime story?"
"Maybe You Can Be a Vet, Maybe You Can Fly a Jet" might be one of the lamer Dr. Seus titles out there, but it did at least get the hint across, I wasn't going to let this go.

The next morning he cooked himself an omelette.  "You could be a chef." I said.
He left the room.

That afternoon, he fixed his bike.  "Mechanic?" He took off on his bike.

He brought me papers to sign.  "Lawyer?" I wasn't giving up.

I played games with the younger ones, having them talk about Halloween Costumes if they could only choose from careers.  JUDGE!  FIREMAN! POLICEWOMAN! SINGER! ACTOR! TEACHER! NURSE! ARTIST! We kept going around, as many of my kiddos wanted to have two, maybe three careers over the course of their lives.

He ran up the stairs holding his ears.

Surrendering didn't seem prudent, and yet I couldn't think of another way to approach the question and get an actual response.  My son gave a scream of irritation from his room. I ran upstairs.  "What's wrong?" I asked.

"The UNIVERSE Mom."  He led out a sheet of paper.  I looked at it blankly. It gave the schedule for Spirit Week.  "LOOK AT THURSDAY!" he shouted.

Career Day.   I couldn't help grinning.  Guess I'll find out at the end of the week.

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