Not an Old Fogey

Okay, I think my life is getting stranger as I get older.

Years ago, as a teenager, my parents annoyed me at times. They would repeat themselves and I’d get around to doing that when I had the time. God forbid they overhear my conversation on the phone; it wasn’t top secret but they were adults… they couldn’t possibly remember being my age. That pile of clothes on the floor would get cleaned up soon but I knew where everything was so why change the status quo? Yeah, my Mom would nag me if I had done something, repeating herself every time I saw her, i.e. “Did you speak to Mrs Smith about the wrong mark on your algebra test?”

I just didn’t think they understood.

Now, about 16 years later, I feel like I’m in the same role as my parents.

For those of you who don’t know, Noel’s nephew Jamie is living with us part-time, i.e. weekends although this week he has been with us from last Friday to this Sunday (of course he is more than welcome to stay as long as he likes). He’s 16, very well brought up and very well mannered. Unlike some teenage boys, Jamie answers questions and doesn’t grunt them: in my book, a big plus. He’s a really nice guy, and I have plenty of time for him.

Today, I was folding laundry in our bedroom and I got the giggles. Jamie was in his room, door firmly closed, talking to one of his friends on the phone. I thought, “Boy does Fate or God or whoever or whatever have a good sense of humour or what?”

I’ve been nagging him about his locker at school. Has he got it yet? No? Why not?

“I didn’t go through the pile of clothes on your floor to see if you had any more laundry because I didn’t want to pry.”

“Make your bed in the morning.”

“Help me with the dishes.”

And then it occurred to me.

Holy God, I so sound like my parents when I was Jamie’s age. Should I be scared? Am I an old fogey? Is it funny? Will it get worse? Will I lose my patience? Will I overstep the line? Where is the line? Will he tell me, get stuffed, you’re not my dad or mum?

(Well, on that last note, he would not say that. He’s too well brought up to say that.)

It’s scary. I don’t know how far to go. And then I realise, is this how my parents felt as I pushed into the teenage years? Should my parents be nominated for sainthood?

So I wrote my parents today to say…


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