A book is a friend for life. The words stay with you, even when you put the book down.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How to Understand Your Teenager

How to Understand Your Teenager (or spending quality time with your teen reaps immense benefits):

One of the best things about Easter weekend is the time to spend with the family, obligation-free, stress-free, duty-free. No school means no work for the hubster and me, which also means the opportunity for family time!

The thing I enjoyed most, I think, is getting to spend time with my daughter in lots of different environments.

Dear daughter is a HUGE fan of K-pop. Or J-pop. (I lose track of the current terminology; however you look at it, this is the pop music of Japan and Korea.) She has several favorite bands she listens to, and over the long weekend, she "let" me watch a few of her favorite videos. To me, these groups resemble the Boy Bands of my youth (NSYNC, New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys) but with an edgy modern twist. My favorite song is "Hello" by SHINee. It is just fun seeing pop music from her eyes.

She and her best friend ordered matching tutus for Easter Sunday. This was not my choice; I was against this "fashion statement"; but they're so cute! Daughter wore her Easter dress for Palm Sunday (an olive branch of truce to sooth my nerves), and the girls wore their tutu outfits on Easter Sunday morning. They looked cute together, and I'm proud of the way my daughter cherishes her friendships. I do so enjoy watching them sit together, serve together, and worship together!!

Thursday was a day out of school for some of the art students, to attend the chalk art contest at the local university. Daughter and her sidekicks got to participate, and I was thrilled to get to go watch (and "supervise", as there was an academic interscholastic meet going on as well). I've always considered myself "crafty" rather than "artistic", so this was a bit outside my usual comfort zone. Despite the bad sunburn I received, the day was amazing! The kids' artwork was all spectacular, and they learned so much just by going and seeing other artists at work. Proud of my multifaceted teenager.

The biggest eye-opening moment for me was Saturday. It was the annual town Easter Extravaganza. Kids and parents gather at our local park to hunt Easter eggs. Really, it's more of a dash for eggs, as the eggs are scattered across the green in plain sight; kids are lined up on a "starting line" and set loose at noon. This year, there were door prizes, free hot dogs and snacks, playground fun, pics with the Easter Bunny, and NEW THIS YEAR: facepainting! Done by my creative daughter and her two friends she drafted. She volunteered for this monumental task after seeing one of the adults post on FaceBook looking for a facepainter. These three teenagers painted faces for nearly 100 kiddos on Saturday afternoon. All volunteer, no pay, and bringing their own supplies. What a great service to the community, and how thoughtful! (Here's a pic of daughter "practicing" on our pastor before the rush of children arrived.)

It's times like these long weekends that help me see my teenager in a new light. No, I certainly do not speak her language all of the time, and she is often an enigma to me (seriously, she takes after her two grandmothers more than me -- in so many ways!), but every day I can spend getting to know her is worth it.

Thought I'd post my #ootd pics for this past week. Enjoy!