Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm Afraid

Tonight was cool on the back porch. I arrived home from work about 7 PM, to smell steak barbecuing in the back yard, the minute I got out of the car. A kiss from my wife and tacos on the patio with the kids.

One of our daughters' best friends was over "to hang" and join us for dinner. We love our girl's friends; they are so sweet, and fun, and funny, and goofy. Classic teenagers; if you could bottle their energy, you could make a zillion dollars.

We shared steak and chicken tacos, chatted about our summer vacations, and enjoyed the cool of evening. The conversation turned to college plans, as we adults are want to do. Kelly protested with the obligatory "Da-ad", when the topic turned to college thoughts. I understand, the pressure must often feel pretty tough. But it makes for good conversation.

Kelly's friend probably spent about 45 minutes on our porch, under the gathering dusk, talking about her family, her older siblings, expectations for life, and the coming Senior year at high school. We talked about plans, and dreams, and "what would you do, if you could do anything in the world"?

Buried in the midst of the conversation was a refrain, a common theme repeated several times. A phrase that caught the real sense of being 17, approaching Senior year, and unsure of what lies ahead......

"It's scary" and "I'm afraid". What will the future hold? Will it be college, junior college, city college, work? And then there are relationships; oh my!

I agree. It is scary. I would be afraid too. It is not easy to be 17 these days - and facing the expectations of peers, of parents, of siblings, and of well, our society.

It was a great conversation. I am completely thankful for these friends of our girls that come to visit, and that for even a few moments, our home is place where they feel welcome, and maybe even heard.

May we continue to listen well.
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