Back to their future
Sunday June 12th 2011, 11:13 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life

Two highschoolers at church, a young woman and a young man, interviewed my husband and me a few weeks ago for a project they were working on; they seated us together and then asked each of us our memories of various events in our lives.

There was a get-together tonight at the home of one of those kids, and I happened to be talking to the dad of the other. I’d wanted for awhile to tell both sets of parents what I’d seen that day in their children–the light in their eyes. I’d never had a real conversation in private with either kid before that day, but I tell you: they were *nice* people. I was very proud of them.

The dad beamed, and as the conversation went on, he admitted that, still, for all that, his two kids fought with each other. It drove him crazy how much they fought!

I laughed and tried to reassure him of the normalcy of all that. Is there a parent out there whose kids never once fought? Kids learn as they grow how to get along with people who may disagree with them in the safety of a family setting, given comfort (no matter how much they may resist it) by the fact that if they overstep, there are limits and those limits will be enforced. And also–that someone else’s point of view is as important as their own.

I was once at the wedding of a young man whose little sister was 11 to his 29 if I remember right, and they were teasing and needling each other while their mom rolled her eyes. Siblings!

Part of being human.

And since we are only human. As part of that growing up, all kids need their basic inner goodness reflected back at them: every kid needs an adult who is not their parent thinking the world of them and expecting only the best out of them because they only have to see the best.

And I have to tell you, having a teenager think the world of you back just totally rocks.

9 Comments so far
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Bravo, Alison. Thanks for letting their parents know they’re awesome kids. I’m sure it meant a lot to EVERYONE.

Comment by Channon 06.13.11 @ 5:51 am

Our Faye was that for me (and I think for my brothers as well.)

Comment by Diana Troldahl 06.13.11 @ 6:49 am

Reminds me of the “little wild woman” I kind of adopted at church, and the little rascal that I just love now and it is so much fun to give him a hug, especially when he is being loud and raucous.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 06.13.11 @ 6:50 am

The truth will out! One sister of mine used to tease me unmercifully, until she grew up. Then she was as sweet as anyone could expect.

Comment by Don Meyer 06.13.11 @ 8:53 am

Us “onlies” miss that give and take.

Comment by Afton 06.13.11 @ 9:51 am

It’s really true that any adolescent needs someone who is not their parent (a parent HAS to say/think that you are good, smart, whatever, but you don’t have to believe it) who thinks they are smart, talented, capable, worthwhile. I think it is particularly true for girls, that you don’t easily see yourself as having value as a human being, but you can blossom in the positive regard of someone (adult) who doesn’t have to like/admire you but somehow does. It is wonderful for a kid to have a real relationship with such a person, and it’s pretty cool for the adults who can get close to our amazing kids too.

Comment by Marian 06.13.11 @ 9:57 am

As suggested by Afton, we who are “only” children were deprived of part of being human. Your few succinct sentences on the value of siblings should be required reading — in every ob’s office?

Comment by Luise 06.13.11 @ 11:44 am

Of all the nice folks who have friended me on FB, the ones whose requests have moved me the most are my children’s friends who hung out at our messy, chaotic house when the girls were teenagers. They’ve seen me crazed. They’ve seen me depressed. And they still love me. Wow, talk about seeing the Savior’s love shining out of somebody’s eyes!

Comment by Lynn 06.13.11 @ 6:15 pm

My sister and I argued constantly as kids- and as soon as we’d both moved out, started getting together to hang out. We don’t see each other as much as we used to (work, life, etc) but when we do, we both chatter endlessly. It’s a very special relationship- and a very fortunate one- not all siblings achieve it, sadly.

Comment by RobinH 06.15.11 @ 9:54 am

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