Extended Families through a Teen's Eyes

TeenhairspikeWell, I thought I'd do a Vulcan mind-meld with my eldest daughter, S. to see if she had any staggering insights into life in an "extended family" and she basically looked at me as if I were wearing pants that reached all the way up to my tattered pocket protector.  (What's wrong with pocket protectors?  Ink stains are hard to remove!)  Our conversation lasted all of about five antsy minutes, but it's posted in full for your edification nevertheless. 

Jen: So... uh.... How do you feel about living in a family where all the adults basically get along? Where the two women are friends?

S: I'm not really affected by it anymore, I never really think about it. Actually… I guess it is kind of weird. Most adults in this kind of situation can't stand each other.

Jen: Hmmm..... (curious, waiting to hear a nice, juicy explanation)  Why do you think that is?

S: Because they went through hell when they got divorced. I probably wouldn't try to get along with the other person if I were them either. You just want to let all of that go and not have anything more to do with them….  But I guess you need to try for the kids.

Jen: So you're saying more parents should make the effort? 

S: Kids shouldn't have to be in the middle, like the messengers. It sucks.

(Silence for a few moments.  We stare at each other.)

Jen: Okay then!  What's one good thing about us getting along?

S: Well, I don't have to deal with it NOT working, like some of my other friends.

(She looks longingly at the door.)

Jen: What about disadvantages?

S: It feels more like having three or four parents, instead of just two. And two's enough! I mean I love Carol, but geez…. You guys… (rolls eyes)

She's free to go.  I sigh.

Pretty earth-shattering, huh?  I don't know what I was expecting (oh, who am I kidding?  It was to be a two-hour love-fest, replete with peppermint tea, maybe a few slices of heavily-buttered toast for fortification, lots of hugs and tears at the end, and if we were lucky, the braiding of daisies into each other's hair). 

But this is what I got.

Perhaps the fact that conversation was so decidedly angst-free is a sign in and of itself.

Yeah.  That's what I'm going with....

Well, on a much PERKIER note, Carol's painting, Swiss Cheese and Grapes, placed in the Top 50 (out of 300) at the 2008 Salon International Show in San Antonio last week.  It's a juried competition and tough to get into.  Carol had TWO paintings in the show and we're all really proud of her.  GO CAROL!!!! 

© 2008 Jennifer Newcomb Marine     All Rights Reserved

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