In the past few days, I've learned that my 14-year-old son has a few ideas about what he's going to do this summer. They include things like: thwart all efforts to the best of his ability to go on outings, eat an entire bag of marshmallows and some sleep every half an hour every two or four hours all day long.
Funny. Those aren't the things I have on my list for him at all.
We're getting to a funny stage in planning: the little kids are still gung-ho for most of the outings I plan (free shows at the library, the local lake, etc.) but the teenagers not as much. So I've come up with a list of my expectations and desires for them this summer:
1. Yes, I'm sure I will end up taking you and whomever else to that cool arcade half an hour away. But I expect you to do things for me, too.
2. I'll let you both sleep in if you let me nap in the afternoons sometimes (by "let me" I mean "watch the little kids.")
3. I will help you find ways to make money but I won't do all the groundwork for you. (Otherwise that would just be me finding ways for ME to make money.)
4. I understand that you don't want to do all the little kid things. That's fine. I'm not going to force you to go to the traveling petting zoo or anything like that. But I will expect you to go on some trips with us and I will always do my best to have it include something that's interesting to you. Your input is welcome, by the way, as long as it's realistic.
5. I reserve the right to wake you up for no reason other than it's a beautiful day and you're wasting it in your bed with your eyes closed.