Life is For the Living

Tough Love!

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“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don’t quite get it, but there are lots of adults who are either scared of tweens, teens and young adults or simply (for whatever reasons) uneasy around them. As a mother of three such beings, I can honestly say it’s my favorite time of being a parent. I loved my girls at each and every age, but this is, by far, the funnest.

There’s so much energy in the air when a young person is around….and if three or more are in the same vehicle or room, the roof can barely stay on! I realize there are some bad kids out there, just like there are some bad adults, but there are also some pretty awesome kids, too. It’s just a shame that so many adults are so busy looking down their noses at them that they can’t realize it.

Not long ago, my daughters and one of their friends were eating out, the kids were laughing (but not overly loud – they were just having fun). A couple at a nearby table – I’d guess they were in their 50’s – kept looking over. The man was smiling, the woman scowling. I finally caught her eye and returned her scowl. She turned back around and, fortunately, all we saw the rest of the meal was the back of her head. It wasn’t long before the same woman was griping at the waitress about her food. Apparently she was just a sad sack looking for somewhere else to happen….and I got the impression her husband would much rather have been at our table.

Yes, there are lots of things they could learn from us, but I think we could also learn a lot from teenagers (as well as those just under and just over the group). For one thing, they’re fearless. My middle and youngest daughters would, given the chance, dye their hair blue tomorrow. They’d try it in a heartbeat. However, we respect their father/my husband’s mental health, so they’ll remain brunettes. But the point is, life doesn’t scare them – it excites them. I like that.

My oldest daughter, while caring way too much about her hair to subject it to color, prefers to express herself with her clothes. The thing I most admire about her is that she wears what she wants to wear, and makes her OWN statements with her fashion. Not long ago, she paired a frilly white skirt with a jersey t-shirt and some funky jewelry and looked amazing. When I saw it all laid out in her room the night before, I thought it’d be a disaster, but it was actually one hot outfit!

I guess what I’m trying to get at is this: I think we’d all be a lot happier, (and a lot funner to eat a meal with!) if everyone lightened up a little. Unloosen that top button, exhale, and find a couple of reasons to smile. And if you see someone having fun with life, give it a try instead of a sneer.

Make each moment count double,
~Joi

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