Saturday, September 03, 2011

One of the more surprising effects of living with an almost 18-year-old and an almost 19-year-old in the house is that it makes me think about Big Topics that I used to think about a lot, but put on a shelf somewhere along the way. I remember being their age and a little older and having long, meaningful discussions about philosophy and theology and politics. I remember the intellectual thrill of exploring all those various ideas and constructs, about sorting through them for myself and debating them with other intelligent, articulate thinkers who were exploring them for the first time, too. Over time, though, I kind of settled into what I chose to believe in those arenas, and got caught up in the business – and busyness – of daily life.

So now I find myself sitting across from either one of them and they launch into their opinions on one of these Big Topics, and I feel at such a disadvantage! They are both very deep thinkers and very articulate, so both are apt to launch into one of these discussions.  One day this week Sam expounded on capitalism vs. socialism vs. communism vs. fascism; with Warren it was recently existentialism and nihilism. Either one is likely to launch into comparative religions at any time. I really, really enjoy talking with them and hearing their views, but I haven't read the supporting literature in 30 years and in many cases, have only a vague, partial recall of the definitions of all the terms. So I have this sense that I am not really holding up my end of the discussion!

These discussions are also a wonderful counterpoint to the lunacy that also accompanies having two teenagers in the house. Both are so very smart and in many ways, responsible. They are gaining mastery of the big things. But the little things in life can still totally mess them up. Like keeping track of a cell phone. Or a credit card. Or getting themselves to where they are supposed to be on time, with everything they need, without parental assistance. Somehow, I think this crazy dichotomy – Big Ideas one moment, lost shoes the next – is what is unique and wonderful about this age. They are both socially conscious and totally self-absorbed; generous and selfish; hopeful and cynical; up and down, fast and slow, wise and stupid..... They are a crazy mix of the child they were and the man they will be.

And so the fun continues. This weekend has been a very full one. It has included calling hours at a funeral home, a problem with Sam's Eagle project, a financial setback for Bob and me, a flare-up of the drama between Warren and his parents...There have definitely been some not so good moments, and yet I stand by my recent statement that my life is so sweet I am awed by it. I come home every day to one wonderful mature man who loves me and fills my life with joy, and two young men finding their way to fulfilling their potential for wonderful. Life is not only never boring, it is inspiring and challenging and downright fun!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was great, Suz. PV