Tuesday, May 24, 2011

There is hope for teenagers!

I've begun to realize that I am officially an adult. Instead of being the one who people look at and think, "wow I just don't get kids today.", I am the one saying those words. I see the kids now, with their Bieber hair cuts and skinny jeans and wonder to myself, how they will ever grow up to be legitimate men. I stand behind girls in the mall and wonder why they giggle for 15 minutes, when the male cashier looks in their direction. I wonder why exactly they feel the need to sing Miley Cyrus at the top of their lungs while standing in line a FYE to buy the latest Twilight DVD. Apparently I've forgotten what it's like to put on your best out fit and shoes, and spend 4 hours styling my hair to go sit in a dark theater with, "the boy from school who is soooooo cute!"
I see shows on TV pretty much daily that show how messed up teenagers lives really are now. Of course there's the teen mom show, which let's face it teenagers have been getting pregnant for a long time now, they just now made a show about it. (No I do not think the show glorifies teen pregnancy or makes it a trend to get pregnant, but that's a whole other soap box!) I also see talk shows and shows about schools that show out of control teens. Teens have so much pressure to be thin, or pretty, drugs, drinking, violence. It's a lot of pressure that I don't think they are ready to handle and I think this causes many of them to buckle under the pressure. They give in to drugs or being disrespectful to others or bullying others.
I am proud to say that I have a 14 year old niece who is for sure the exception to this rule! Zoe is kinda like my mini me. If I didn't know better I would swear she was my child! She is very active in school. She is involved in volleyball, basketball, track,choir, and softball and she stands out in all of those activities, while still maintaining good grades! It's amazing. I honestly cannot express how proud I am of her. For one for doing all the things I just mentioned and also for maintaing a snarky witty attitude the whole way.
She has an older sister, who is 18 and autistic, and she helps her with school work whenever she needs it. It's amazing how big her heart is! She once told me, "I really wish you felt better Aunt Rose. You know if you ever need me I will be right there. Even if I have to run to your house I will, just let me know." How many teenagers do you know who would say something like that? Even more than that how many teenagers do you know that would say that and actually mean it? She is the only one I know of!
Every teenager from the age of about 13 on looks forward to their all important 16th birthday. With turning 16 comes the prospect of driving and more freedom. Most teenagers look forward to this time so they can have their own freedom and hang out with their friends. They begin to dream and work toward getting the car they want and make plans of what they will do with it. Zoe is not different, but the plans she's making are. She wants to get and SUV so that she will have plenty of room so she can help pick up her little brothers and her older sister, who is unable to drive due to being Autistic.
 She did something recently that just really blew my mind. She went to her first real dance. The dance was in May and as some of you know May is Lupus Awareness Month. She wore a purple dress and her boyfriend wore a tie with purple in it. I was so proud and of course she looked beautiful. It's funny how something like that just makes your heart swell.
So when I watch these shows where the kids are calling their parents names and fighting and getting in trouble, it makes me sad. I often think that there is no hope for teenagers. It's sad that many times that's all we see are the kids who are in trouble or doing bad things. That's what compelled me to write this blog. I'm so proud to have a niece who is the exception to the rule, of teenagers are terrible. I would love to see a talk show that showcases, kids like her, who are beautiful inside and out!