Tonight, we hosted a Halloween party for my kids and their friends. Bryanna is 17 and Chris is 15, so they pretty much have the same set of friends. In fact, Chris’s girlfriend at the moment is one of Bryanna’s best friends. It’s so weird and amazing and scary and beautiful.
I really enjoy these kids. They are nice to each other. They are respectful… are as respectful as you can expect teenagers to be. They like the same music I like, and they like playing games. I taught them a couple of games, and they ate it up.
I’m not wading into them, trying to be one of them. That would embarrass my kids, and it would embarrass me. My time as one of them was over 20 years ago.
What I did do was put on a velvet shirt, a cloak, a crown, and as I ran the barbecue, declared myself The Burger King. I floated into their groups and made jokes with them, then floated off to make sure the music was fun, and at an appropriate level. I smiled and made sure everyone felt welcome. I was the cool adult, still doing the appropriate adult duties (like making sure that Chris and his girlfriend weren’t too frisky in the shadows of the backyard).
I enjoyed being an adult, and a host of the party, and I enjoyed the kids, and they reciprocated. Melissa and I throw the best parties.
But I want to talk about these kids for a moment. I really think that this generation is amazing. I love how they treat each other. Sure, there are exceptions, but for the most part, they seem generally more connected and more conscientious of each other than I remember my generation acting.
It could be that my perspective of my generation is skewed. I was overwhelmed with hormones at the time I was these kids’ ages, so maybe I’m not one to judge. Maybe every generation is like this, and I’m just in a place in my life where I can appreciate the beauty of their age in a way I could never appreciate at any previous time in my life.
If this generation is truly special, then the future is amazing. These people are amazing, and I believe that I can trust them with the keys to the kingdom.
If this generation isn’t really any different from any other, then the future is still amazing. It doesn’t change what I’ve seen of these kids. Instead, it changes me, and everyone else I’ve known, imbuing upon us all the kind of beauty and love and ability to be connected that I’ve observed in these people.
Maybe I’m being naive or simply optimistic, but that doesn’t seem so bad, either.