Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sweatboxing with my teens


M— and E— finished out first term on Friday. The preceding week proved difficult for all of us as they scrambled to finish projects and get last minute make-ups in. E— stressed to the point of aggravation knowing full well he wasn't going to pass a couple of his classes. This is what happens when mom is gone all the time and they're left on their own to finish homework. The lesson will catch up to them at some point, probably once they've left home and I'm not there to bail them out of the stress with sweatbox dance parties hosted by LDS University of Choice world-class DJs, featuring the  unbelievably grinding challenge of experimental music/poetry from Coffee Shop artists.

So imagine if you will: myself (38), my 15-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter, and twenty college students, most of whom are at LDS University of Choice because they want a cheap quality education, not because of any ties to the faith. (I know a couple of the students at the party are making quite a stir as LDS feminists, both nationally online and in the press.) Except for my Poetry Boys, I don't think M— or E— had the slightest idea whom they were dancing with. No big. We stayed the whole night, beginning at 10 p.m. and checking out at 12:30 a.m., ears ringing and clothing sweat-soaked.

I've thought about the night since.

I went to a party with my teens. Who does that? Who does that and has their kids thank them and rave about the fun we had together?

It hit me last night just how odd I am as parents go. I know it's strange. I know it makes other parents somewhat wary. I also don't know how to do it any other way. I will not do it the way my parents did it. I know that doesn't work. I don't profess to be any sort of parenting guru. In fact, when people do ask, the advice I give most often is to give in that you're going to make mistakes no matter how hard you try, and that if you can admit those mistakes and do your best to make amends with your kids for any hurt you do they are generally quite forgiving. Or maybe I lucked out and I've just got great kids.

Either way, this morning at coffee, Empedocles told me I shouldn't worry. He thinks what I'm doing is pretty chill.

Here's to the beginning of week 9 of my Fall semester and week one of M— and E—'s term two.

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