Saturday, April 18, 2009

Teenage Angst and German Shepherds

I have four teenagers, and in four months that number climbs to five.

Cards and letters of support can be mailed to my home address. In liu of flowers send donations to the Research Department of Premature Graying, c/o Grecian Formula.

For those who have teenagers or are survivors, you know the struggle. I have heard many erudite explanations of the phenomena: hormonal imbalances, myelinization irregularities, etc. I commend researchers as they attempt to find a cause for behaviors currently unexplained. Unfortunately, no one has found a cure.

Nothing helps. My wife used to tell me to let them sleep in on the weekends, with the naive idea that a good night's (or morning's, and perhaps afternoon's)sleep is all that is needed. Nope. The angst is pervasive. They call into question everything, from their faith, the meaning of life, and the value of putting laundry in a hamper. They question authority as they maneuver to discover their place in society, believing inheritantly that they truly should be Emperor of the World. Time is immaterial and is measured only in relation to social activity and "how incredibly long it took me to do the inhuman household chores you have forced me like a Hebrew Slave to complete on a SATURDAY, my Day of Rest". They look at life through relativistic lenses, believing that all points of view are of equal merit and value. Well, not quite; they believe that THEIR point of view is of merit and value, whether that changes daily, hourly, or in the space of a few seconds. Your point of view is irrelevant if it is even remotely in opposition.

As a parent I have to constantly check the atmosphere of my home in the midst of the battle, to insure that MY influence is not relegated to obscurity in the face of the struggle. Not for the weak of heart. Add to the fray the little fact that you love them with all your heart, and there is potential for hurt, misunderstanding and anger. In many families one can recognize early on that the teenager rules the roost. I'll go down fighting. Without vigilence it is inevitable that the culture of the home will embrace a sense of anti-authority and relativism. Not to mention the phone bill...

In related news, this appeared in the National Catholic Reporter on April 14th:

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has initiated a
doctrinal investigation of the largest U.S. women’s religious leadership
organization, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

Sounds to me like our Holy Father has recognized that there is a metaphoric "teenager" in the Church, anti-authoritative and relativistic; the Church has made a move to re-exert it's influence in it's house. Check out this link for some in-depth analysis:

Let's pray for the leaders of our Church that they may persevere in the battle! I can relate; oh, how I can relate...

Did I mention that I was the model of perfection as a teenager? Don't let my parent's abundant gray hair and nervous tics fool you. That was probably from my brother...


  1. and just think, you have four more to go...oops sorry for rubbing that in... :( forgive me

  2. Christ is Risen!
    He is Truly risen!
    Alleuiah !

    I can totally relate to this commentary...

    I have one teenager, and one that thinks she is a teenager, and I think of my mom and dad, who had 11...
    eleven children, and many were teenagers, although some may deny it..

    Our help is in the name of the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth!
    blessed be the name of the Lord!
    Both Now and forever!


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