One of the things that I have learned about raising teenagers is they are nicer to other people than they are to their parents. So this morning when the Reverend at church asked them to help with the service, I walked away. They would have said no to me, but they would never say no to her. There was some flower exchange thing and she asked Taryn and John to help collect and then redistribute the flowers.
I felt good about them helping with the service. They are not especially interested in our little hippie church, but I’m convinced it is good for them. I figure the more the help out, the more people will get to know them, and the more comfortable they will feel about the experience.
Once that happens I’m sure they will fully embrace it and become the perfect young people who I imagine them to be. It’s a long shot, I know but, raising teenagers involves a constant lowering of expectations. For example, instead of wanting John to have perfect manners all the time, I just wish he would pull his pants up. I actually dream of going a full 24 hours without seeing his underwear. It’s a sad life, but it’s all I have.
That and a box of wine.
When the time came Taryn took her basket to one side of the church and John took his to the other. It was all going well until John came to the blind guy. We have exactly one blind person who regularly attends services. It is obvious (to anyone who can see) that he is blind.
John, being the astute 14-year-old that he is, walked up and waited with his basket. He did not say a word.
He just stood there.
Then he walked away.
The people in the next row told John to return to the blind guy to collect his flowers. So he returned, stood there for a few seconds and said, “Put your flower in here.”
Seriously, it was like he was raised by a pack of wolves.
This is what I get for taking them out in public.