Dear Father Figure,
Hi. It’s me, the Mother Figure in the seat behind you at Town Hall last night. Remember me? I was with my daughter. You were with your kids, I’m guessing a 12 year old daughter and 14 year old son. Yeah- you remember me now- the one giving you pitying looks…..Why was I giving you pitying looks? Well, let me tell you….
First off. John Green. This is the go to author for much of Generation Z. He writes about characters that they can relate to. He writes characters that come alive and jump off the page. His prose is prosaic, his words are quotable….he embodies the angst and heartbreak they often feel. He gets your children to read.
Let me repeat that. He is getting your tween age kids to read. To love reading. To look forward to reading.
That’s a problem, right?
Well- it must be, judging by the pissed off expression you wore last night. Because you sat there- scowling. Yes. Scowling. Your shoulders were tense, your body was rigid. For a moment I thought that you were an angry statue. You didn’t clap. You didn’t move your arms. You didn’t crack a smile. You didn’t even smile when you looked over at your kids, who were obviously loving and enjoying the evening. How does a parent not look at their kids and smile when their kids are quite clearly having a great time and a great experience?
Are we a tad selfish and self absorbed? Does your obligation end at buying the tickets and accompanying them? Do you think your daughter didn’t notice that you were not miserable, but angry? Cause let me tell you- she noticed. She glanced at you worryingly. And this is just conjecture- but I’m guessing she was wondering what she did wrong. Because that’s how kids are- they see their parents mad and they think it’s their fault. Remember that- kids think that things are their fault. So they think that when you are an ass, it’s their fault. Well- they think that. I know you are an ass because you are only worried about yourself.
Are you embaressed that your kids like these books? That your kids watch Utube videos about literature and science? (cause that’s what these guys do- they make learning fun) Would your rather your kids were watching sports? Do you think if your kids read these books, listen to the podcasts, they will be uncool? Are these not the kids you wanted? Do your kids not meet your expectations?
Well- get over it. Get over yourself and your pre-conceived notions.
Cause what I see are two kids that like something that is good. I see two kids that probably want to be better people, want to feel empathy. They want to be part of the group that respects others and their choices. Because that’s part of what the Green Brothers are about. They sing about science. They write books. They talk about respect and they show empathy.
Respect and empathy.
The world would be a much better place if all kids learned respect and empathy.
Fyi- you- the parental unit- the first teacher your kids had- you’re not displaying either of those things right now.
Even if you are bored, pretend to like it. If you weren’t so irritated, you would realize that it’s a pretty good show. These guys are funny- really funny. And they are brilliant- that is blatantly obvious. And oh yeah, your kids are into it.
Are you upset that he talks about depression and anxiety and mental illness? Do you think if your kids never hear those terms they will never suffer from those things?
Wrong. You are so wrong. Issues like these have no boundaries. Kids don’t hear about things like OCD and say, that sounds like fun, let me try that this week. But maybe they will recognize something in themselves, and they realize that they are not alone. They affect so many people. Isn’t is better to be aware? Isn’t awareness what helps fix things?
Well- you wouldn’t know that because you are least self aware person ever. Yes- I’m judging you on outward appearance- sorry- you’re throwing off that vibe. And if I think that- well, what do your kids think?
So here’s the thing:
Your kids like to read. They are reading books that have some great messages. They are spending their Tuesday evening with you, as a family, at a lecture/show. Pay attention to them. Try to understand where they are at. You don’t get many chances like this. They grow up and away really fast. Embrace these moments. Don’t be such a giant ass.
The Mom sitting behind you