Stream of Consciousness

We got back from Disneyland late on a Friday night and the following Saturday morning I hit the ground running. Jericho had an old friend in town, he and his family having moved last year. We had plans to catch up with them and the entire “gang” from Jericho’s elementary school years. The morning catch up session turned into an all day hang out. At the end of it, while driving home, Jericho and I got to talking, or maybe I should say Jericho got to talking.

This is something I’ve noticed that teenagers do. They talk when no-one else expects it. I mean, if you sit down and try to have a meaningful conversation with a teenager, forget it. However, if you let the moment unfold naturally, a stream of conscious thought presents itself. That conscious thought flows quickly, regardless whether you’re ready, and it gives you access to the inner workings of the teenage mind. I find this fascinating, but have to really ramp up my brain power to gather in all the information; things are moving and connecting fast up there.

On this particular evening Jericho, my self described geek, was talking about weight training and building a strong, healthy body. For teenage boys this may be the norm, but it was out of the realm of normal for mine. He has been in karate for years and will be testing for green belt soon, but that is the extent of his interest in physical fitness. What was this about?

As he continued talking it became apparent that this had been on his mind for a while. During the all day reunion my son had been discussing workout routines with his longtime buddies. If I hadn’t been driving, I would have dropped whatever was in my hand and watched it shatter across the floor. This was astounding! I guess you’d have to know Jericho, but really it was…

As we delved deeper into this conversation, and closer to home-I was at one of the last four red lights before we entered our neighborhood-Jericho finally said something that made me understand the origin of this stream of consciousness. All the heavy people and people on motorized scooters at Disneyland had really bothered him. He foresaw the ramifications of too much eating and a not enough physical activity in these individuals. It was one of many possible life choices before him, and he wanted no part of it. This had triggered a lot of thinking which had culminated into his decision that the best way to keep this kind of lifestyle at bay was to start an exercise regime now.

 

At this point we pulled into the driveway and the conversation abruptly ended. Much to my dismay, Jericho was done talking. That’s the other thing I’ve noticed about teenage streams of consciousness, they end much too quickly. I had so much to say, so much I wanted to add to the conversation, but it was over. It seemed that I would have to save my stream of consciousness for another day, but maybe that was ok. Maybe that should be the way of the occasional teenage stream of consciousness, allow them to think for themselves and lead the conversation. As a parent I am sure I will have many chances to put my opinion out there, and on occasion they may actually listen. However, I think that parents could benefit from just listening sometimes too.

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