Teenagers These Days…

I’m sitting in a local Starbucks (also known as my second home) while Charlotte is at dance and I decided to take a moment to appreciate the other people that are here with me in this space…right now in this very moment.

There is a couple, I assume, sitting in the comfortable leather chairs in the corner of the room. They’re so engaged in conversation with one another, each leaning into the other, fully immersed in the moment.

I can’t help but wonder what the story is behind THEM. Who are they? How did they meet? What’s the glue that holds them together? Is it the random Starbucks dates? The fact that they seem to hold each other in high regard, respectfully communicating with each other in a way that’s beautiful to witness. I wonder what they’re talking about.

A group of girls sits to my left, they’re working together to achieve a common goal: Homework. I think of Charlotte and her future. I can only hope that she has friends when she’s a teenager that she can meet at the coffee shop and bounce ideas off of one day. I wonder who her friends will be in seven years.

I can’t wait to meet them. Have I already met them?

The most striking set of people sharing this space with me right now isn’t the couple or the girls working together but, rather, the group of teenage boys sharing the table to my right. At first glance, they’re the very best of friends…congregating at a table together hanging out. But when you start to dig a little deeper you notice that they’re so much more than that.

These kids are having a discussion, a respectful and engaging discussion on philosophy and religion. It’s really beautiful.

That’s actually what I hope for my child.

I hope she finds something she believes in, something that excites her and makes her want to discuss it with other people in her life. We’ve introduced her to the concept of God and have explained to her that there are many religions in the world, each united with common ideas but divided on the details. We’ve told her that we will introduce her to all of these ideas as she grows and learns and finds her way in the the world…until, one day, she’s confident in what she believes and then we will support her in her choices and respect what she finds to be true.

I can’t help but be in awe of these kids. They’re amazing. I don’t remember being that amazing as a teenager. Their dedication to one another, to what they believe in, and to what they’re focused on inspires me and gives me hope for the future of this country.

Teenagers these days are incredible.

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