It appears that I am already the mother of generations. Plural.
Yup. Technically, Generation Y ended after my oldest three were born, and before my youngest three.
Generation Z, to which they belong, doesn't make many headlines, but Generation Y has gotten a lot of bad press, hasn't it?
I just want my objection to go on record here.
I teach a class of more than twenty 12 and 13 year olds every week and they are amazing girls; I have three teens of my own, and yeah, sometimes they don't pick up their socks but really, given the opportunity, they consistently prove their mettle.
It was our family's turn to clean the church on Saturday morning and lest you are imagining up a little one-room, clapboard church, let me explain that our church has over 500 linear feet of upholstered benches, a full sized gymnasium and stage, an industrial-sized kitchen, six bathrooms, a dozen or so offices, three large children's rooms, a couple dozen classrooms, a library, an employment and resume center–need I go on? It's big. And the vacuums don't necessarily all suck–and I'm using that in my generation's sense of the word. I should have taken my Dyson.
Anyway, on Saturday morning I roused the sleeping forms of my children. Early. Teens. On a weekend. And you know what? Yeah, they pretended not to hear me the first few times I called out the old rise and shine routine, but they got up and they got in the van, and not one teenager complained. Not on the way, and not during the cleaning.
Headline that on MSN.
You wouldn't believe how they took the initiative, even for distasteful or difficult tasks. My daughter was vacuuming pews and polishing water fountains, the little ones were emptying garbages, dusting and organizing hymn books and when the elderly Sister in charge informed me that she had set my oldest son to mopping the bathroom floors you should have seen the size of my smile–this is not something I would have asked him to do–especially not the women's bathrooms! I would have automatically taken that upon myself. But she asked him to do it, and he did. No complaints.
And when I came home at dinner time after a long day of grocery shopping (in a town large enough to shop in, and thus far away from here) my daughter had cleaned my entire house. After giving up her Saturday morning to clean the church. And we're talking a week's worth of laundry for eight people not only washed, dried and folded, but put away; floors swept, freezer organized–the child even cleaned all the crayon off my front door outside. Have you ever tried to wash crayon off an exterior door? And do you know how much better my entire front porch looks sans crayon?
These are the days a mother thinks maybe I'm not a complete and utter failure after all… even when we know that we can't necessarily take any credit for the good. Just breathe deep and thank God for making up the difference where our parenting skills fell short.
So maybe hesitate the next time you want to gripe about the rising generation. They're good kids. They like to have fun and they don't always think every action through sometimes, but they are trying. And they know the secret to getting Crayola off the door. We ought to cut 'em some slack just for that, don't you think?