I am the mother of teenagers. Well, one of them’s eleven, but that’s double digits--so it counts--and the other is a fifteen year old girl--so that’s double the drama--so I consider myself the mother of teenagers. What has fifteen years in the parenting trenches taught me? I decided to think hard about that. Especially in the light of all the time I spend writing and thinking about love and grace and faith. Here’s my take:
This, they tell me, is part of what’s wrong with our instant world today. We don’t have time to think it through. Ticked off? You can fire off an email before you’ve had a chance to think things through. Your victim will get it on his Blackberry in the middle of dinner when his wife just said something to make him mad. Your kids can IM the friend who just “dissed” them before they can get the real facts. You can decide your life is in jeopardy—based on the 15 Google hits from who knows what sources--when perhaps all you really need is some extra care.The space of time when everyone got to simmer down, wise up, cool off, or chill out is GONE.
But we need that time. That time is the seed of wisdom. The space between situation and reaction is where all the growth, all the grace, and all the drama happens. Having said all that, the writer in me understands that place as my playground. The impulsive, passionate kiss packs as much power as the slow embrace we’ve waited 50 pages for. And really, if we all acted with wisdom, where’d be the conflict? The fun? The drama? The stories?