I had to remember, in the moment that my teen and I were talking, “THIS IS MAGIC.” Not the scolding. Or my forthcoming punishment to reconcile with the universe. Or how bummed I feel because I think of all the echoes of teen voices in the universe who thought but didn’t utter. Or, who uttered and got the stuffing kicked out of them.
1️⃣ THIS IS MAGIC. “What do you think would be the right conversation?” I said.
So we had that one.
Both of us less triggered. Everything from “Don’t walk out when I am talking.” To the moment when I laughed out loud when he asked with a twinkle “Do you think this is actually something worthy of an infraction report? Seriously?”
2️⃣ MAGIC because I could see how this conversation sets the tone for a lifetime of incidents.
And, I listened to the whole story, reflecting on how many times I have heard the same discussion from coworkers to talk show hosts to political misfits. You know. Cross out teacher insert “my boss”, “my fans”, “the public” and then think about who you would want to have the right conversation with.
Unlike the teacher, I can tell the truth. I didn’t agree with the teacher’s actions but I do wonder how anyone can function in the classroom environment he describes.
We talked about how how he adds to the pot in the classroom. We spoke about gender bias and how girls are perceived to be better behaved. That’s a thing for boys. Like girls chatting about manicures goes under the radar but boys about video games does not. Having kids of both genders, those observations have been on the table for years now.
3️⃣ MAGIC because as one of his wise mentor's put it: “I’d like for all the kids to spend this much time in a theater school and then talk about whether they would thrive.” Let’s add or, a science only school, or some other specialty that isn’t there niche. I have plenty of opportunities through our son to see an academic school as a niche that is the norm but not the best and only way to learn.
4️⃣ MAGIC The physics of life seemed to me to be “the real lesson” and why we were still talking about a harmless incident from 8 days ago.
We talked though the infraction report. Authority. Abuse of power. Whether or not it’s right. Assessing what’s at stake. Sucking it up. “Cuz, once you set the ball in motion, it may no longer be about you.”
The ball got set in motion and kept rolling.
5️⃣ MAGICAL ENDING
I came up with a much better consequence. One that was mindful and matching the “infraction”.
We tried to have the right conversation anyway.