Spring has sprung.
The grass is riz.
I wonders where the flowers is.
My mother, from the back woods, taught me this little poem oh so many years ago. It is of course far from the truth. A college educated man of the world, like myself, knows exactly where the flowers is. Or, are as the case may be. The flowers are outside and are actually blooming very nicely, if anyone would take the time to look at them. Sadly, no one does, because it is constantly raining. The grass, flowers and ducks, all love this deluge, but frankly, I don’t.
There has been so much flooding in my area that three of my neighbors have started their own arks. Personally, I’ll stick with the oldest firm in town, Noah and Sons. You can’t beat experience, and they have the greatest slogan; Heavenly Arks, At Sinful Prices. But I digress.
The rain has been so bad basements have flooded, sewers have backed and my great uncle George is screaming about the end of the world. George experimented with way to may chemicals in the Sixties. Being that as it may this spring’s rain has cost a bunch of folks a lot of money, but the greatest cost was to my teenage daughter. Her tablet computer got wet.
Of course, it wasn’t her responsibility. Yes, she was the one who left it on the window sill, and she was the one who left the window open during the rainy season. Also, she is the one who told me never to enter her room, or touch her things under penalty of death. I mean, with all those facts staring at me, there was only one obvious conclusion. The damage was my fault, and her screaming was excessive.
Remember this is the same girl who left the tablet on my table last summer. I had the sheer audacity to check some detail on it and then clean the screen. She accused me of changing the brightness settings and wouldn’t believe me for over a week that she had been looking through a layer of crud. Luckily, the crud came back after a week and I was exonerated with only a verbal warning to never clean again.
You see this is the unique teenage girl enigma. If something happens to her stuff, it’s either my fault because I messed with it, or my fault because I didn’t move it out of harm’s way. You have to admit, it’s a concise theory without loopholes. I was able to repair the thing by doing something bold. I dried it thoroughly, charged it back up and viola, it was just fine. First, she thanked me for being a genius who can fix anything, then cautioned me to never touch her stuff again.
Now I don’t want to make you think that my daughter was the only casualty of this year’s rains. Oh no, the river flooded and destroyed two local businesses, but this pails in comparison, to the fact My son got mud on his shoes. Thankfully this wasn’t my doing. He was quite willing to blame, the fates and of course he had to admit, nothing bad happens to anyone except him.
Living with my teenagers always reminds me of that great quote from Shakespeare: All the world‘s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts. This is from the play As You Like It, which is a comedy. Sadly, life with my children has become a drama. Currently the drama is titled, As It Rains.
Don’t get me wrong there are some lighter moments, like when we are trying to get the children to eat broccoli. But what really gets me is the number of intermissions. As an actor goes into the greenroom between acts. So does my progeny exit to their bedrooms between the times they grace my life with their presence. They spew their wisdom then of again to rest in the room, and listen to music.
Maybe that’s it. Maybe I’ve got it all wrong. As a parent, I am a bit player in their teen age musical. Unfortunately, I don’t have a song and am not even in the chorus, as far as they’re concerned. But they have their intertwining parts to play. They watch out the windows singing sad songs of a childhood lost, and the pining for the adulthood they know nothing about.
Then again if this a teen musical, my second son has to be that guy who is a friend to everyone and always acts the clown. Yes, this is the perfect part for him. Of course, he will be destined to be comic relief for all eternity. But hey, those guys get paid too. Remember a good character actor is worth his weight in gold. But I digress.
The thing about this teenage show is the fact it always a tragedy. In summer everyone is bored and I’m supposed to know how to entertain them. Of course, it is their inalienable right to be entertained. Autumn means the return to school and the problem is school is hard and they want to be home. You got it. When they are home, they beg for something to do and when they have school to do, they want to be home doing nothing. Don’t ask me to figure it out.
When winter arrives, they are finally used to school, but it’s cold. Can you guess, what do my straight-A honor students do? They look at me as if I can change the weather. I used to suggest they put on a coat, but no more. I have learned through painful experience, that no one wears coats. That would ruin their style. No, it’s far better to yell at the father for not changing the weather. Then to spring and the rain. Thus, the saga repeats itself, over and over until they reach eighteen and move out or I end up in the looney bin, whichever comes first.
With my apologies to Dante, I believe this is far more of a Devine Comedy than a simple trip from Hell to Heaven. I’ve read his version and there’s not a laugh in the whole, tediously long, poem. And I read all three parts twice. I do admit I don’t laugh at this whole teenager thing very much as of yet, but it does make me smile remembering my own teenage years. Frankly, I don’t remember being all that bad. Well, I guess you have to be there. I mean, when I tell my dad about all of my ills, he laughs his fool head off.