Friday, May 04, 2007

The Youth

I've always begged God to not give me a ministry with teenagers. I just don't "get" them, and tend to be impatient and sarcastic, which is not really a good teaching technique. I did not marry a youth pastor or a coach, which was one of my greatest fears. Instead, I'm a junior high sponsor at church and a high school dorm mother.

What I've discovered is that, taken one or two at a time, they're not too bad. Take my cousin, for instance. Rebecca* is just about to graduate from the eighth grade, and has been living with my parents for her junior high years so that she could go to our school here. (She went home on the weekends.) She'll be leaving next week when school's out, and will be staying home in Texas for high school. Rebecca was a huge help last year when Mim was newborn, and Zaya was an overactive Babe-ler (Half baby, half toddler). She would come over almost every day after school and play with Zaya, and help with Mim. (The picture is from one of those days last spring.) Both kids love her, and get so excited when she comes over to play. This year I've got things a little more under control, so I haven't had her come help as much, but yesterday when our messages got crossed and she was waiting here at my house while I was running errands in town, she cleaned my kitchen and living room. That's right. A teenager. Cleaned. I walked in to hear a running dishwasher and see clear cabinets. Clear! I was quite excited. Now, she did this after I made her give me her facebook password so I could edit her "profile" and "about me" page last week. (I couldn't handle the chatspeak and lack of punctuation) See, teenagers aren't all bad.

Which brings me to my dorm sons. I really will miss them next year. We've only had four this year, and they've been good sons, for the most part. Of course, I did have to confiscate about four different aerosol cans this week. If you don't know why, then enjoy living in your blissful ignorance. (Let's just say I'm not assuming they don't have a fire source, despite its longstanding prohibition.) One of them is currently ineligible again, but he's been working on it this year, and did quite well. I'm proud of all of them in different ways, and am actually sad to be leaving them to new dorm parents next year. Now, leaving my dorm apartment,...that's a different story, but more on that later.

*Name changed


JAM said...

I didn't like myself much as a teen, and I didn't like many other teens when I was a teen, so I'm not a natural either when it comes to dealing with them.

Guess which age group our pastors asked Lovely Wife and I to teach Sunday School for several years? Yep, high school age. We did ok, but I never really felt like I connected very well. One thing I'm good at though, is putting difficult topics on a simple, easy to understand level. I like to think that the kids learned something. I know I sure did from them. Also, I learned to be more patient with my own daughters as well.

My two girls are like Oscar Madison and Felix Unger. One a neat freak, and the other has no conception of the words neat, clean, straightened, etc.

Oi vey.

Qtpies7 said...

I hear you, I don't want to work with teens, either, but all these adorable babies God has given me, well, they turn into teens!!! Hmmph.
Plus I teach high school drama at our church. They are good kid, though, and a ton of fun.
I can't imagine doing dorm life like that, but I bet its fun most of the time. Except the aerosole cans, good choice to remove those.

Qtpies7 said...

oh, and which video did you like the best? I think I was in tears for all of them, plus a ton more, but I didn't want to make anyone else sit on youtube for 2 hours like we were, lol. (2 hours if you don't count the night before last, hehe) Neg has several more Urban Sports, too.

Anonymous said...

i teach middle school....11-14 year olds....oh my....

....what is my problem, i must be nuts!

- Jon
- Daddy Detective