Raising Teenagers When You Wish You Were Still One: The John Hughes Effect

Raising Teenagers When You Wish You Were Still One: The John Hughes Effect

I’m not sure when it happened but somehow I’ve been placed in charge of raising teenagers.  That seems strange to me considering that in my mind I am still one myself. Sometimes I look in the mirror and get passed that feeling. There are also times when I move the wrong way and something pulls or snaps, painfully mind you, and I am certain that I am not eighteen any more. But then a John Hughes movie comes on and I am somewhere in the late 1980’s looking out a school window wishing I was catching foul balls at a Cubs game.Ferris Bueller

I wanted to be Ferris Bueller one time. Ok, I still do, but it’s ditching work instead of school now. It was different here in the hills though. No one’s dad had a Ferrari to steal. My dad had a 79′ Ford pickup with a three speed on the column but he drove it to work so I couldn’t swipe it. The other problem we had was that all of our parents knew each other and what all of us drove so we didn’t get away with much. Walnut Grove is a little different than Chicago.

I also remember being something like Anthony Michael Hall trying to get a date with Molly Ringwald. There is an awkward, unsure feeling that comes with stepping out to talk to a girl when you are a teenager. The truth is I would probably still be that goofy if I had to ask someone out so thank goodness I got married.  My wife can still make me look foolish from time to time. I’ve always been a baboon around a pretty girl.

I spent a couple of days in suspension back in the day.  That’s nothing to be proud of but that’s how it went.  It wasn’t like the Breakfast Club though. It was more of an isolation kind of thing where they fed me bread and water and math homework.  We were different from those suburban kids but, somehow, we could relate. The insecurities of adolescence are universal.Passing Time

They tell me I’m a grown-up now. I guess they are right. I’m doing my best raising teenagers but the truth is I’m winging it. I remember looking at my parents thirty years ago and thinking that they just didn’t understand. Now I know that time moves faster than I thought.  I remember how it feels to try and fit in. I haven’t forgotten how hard it was to find some direction in those years.  I never tried to create a woman like Gary and Wyatt but I did eat a lizard once. I still remember doing dumb, teenage stuff. I also still know the words to “Don’t You (Forget About Me).”

 

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