Sometimes a conversation with a teenager can be a blog all in itself. Chloe was sick this morning when she got up but felt well enough to go to school after PE. Does this sound like a familiar story? Krista had to be at work early so I was to pick her up at 10:15, be at school with her by 10:30 and go to the office to sign her in.
At 10:08, as I was leaving my house to go to hers, I called her to make sure she was ready. The conversation goes like this: "Are you ready?" "No-o-o, am I supposed to be ready?" "Well yes, didn't your mom tell you to be ready by 10:15?" "Yes, but it's only (pause - apparently looks at the clock) 10:08." "But that's only seven minutes away, Chloe - will you be ready by 10:15?" "Uh, maybe".
At 10:22 she walks out the door - not too bad for a teenager, huh? "Did you get your late note your mom left for you?" "No, was I supposed to?" "Go back in and get your note off the table".
On the way at last! "I hope I've missed PE". "Why don't you like PE?" "Because you have to physically exert yourself". "But you don't mind being physically exerted. You jog everyday!" "But it's different when you're in a gym full of stinky, sweaty boys", she said. I'm suddenly transported back to high school PE with a whiffing memory of a gym full of stinky, sweaty boy smells. "Oh yeah, I remember - I'm getting a whiff of it right now just thinking about it", I say.
"And I hate stripping down to my underwear in front of a bunch of girls I barely know". "Don't you have to take a shower?" "Well, that would be worse that stripping down to my underwear, wouldn't it?", she said as if I should know better. The magic door opened again and once again I was standing in the locker room at Parkwood High School with a shower full of girls who had no modesty whatsoever. I would wait until everyone left and would take a quick shower and was always late for my next class. And I'll admit, there were times that I skipped the shower and just covered myself in deodorant. I was that modest.
"I understand", I said. "I wasn't much of a PE fan either." "Mawmaw, you're the best!" rang musically in my ears until we got out of the car and headed to the office. "Uh, Mawmaw, would you mind taking the note and signing me in and I'll run on to class?" I signed her in and watched her as she stood unsure if she should just go on or if she needed to wait. The secretary gave her a pass and sent her on her way. My heart expanded with love for this no longer a child, but not quite woman who would one day find her place in a world full of uncertainties. It took me quite a while, but I did.