There are those times when you meet kids that I think, "Wow, I hope our children grow up to be like . . ." No pressure, you just get a good vibe from some kids. You get a sense that they will make good choices, risk appropriately, show respect to and/or challenge authority as the situation dictates, be empathetic, yada, yada, yada. And in the case of my kids, but respectful in public. Yes, I am old.
No, I don’t want to be legalistic and oppressive about behavior, "kids shall be kids" as they say, but I do have some lines. Take for instance this morning as I had coffee at neighborhood classic, Creighton’s. Ironically, I put on my own earbuds to block out the conversation. Antigone Rising blasts in my ears as I write this.
The Setting: Two young people fighting over listening to an iPod. This place is a family-owned neighborhood establishment located a few blocks from the SF School of the Arts. There is a pretty constant hum of students and commuters in the AM. Volume of the conversation was at about 9. This was not an argument, but seemed like normal, even playful, conversation.
Girl – "name you fxxxxxg bxxxh! Gimme the fxxxxxxg iPod, you’re not even fxxxxxg listening to the damn sxxt!"
Boy – "Get the fxxk off me, you bxxxh."
Girl – "Fxxk you! Gimme the fxxxxxg iPod, I want to watch that sxxt."
Boy – "Sxxt . . . here you go bxxxh."
Now I can’t hold a candle to some of the potty-mouths in my family and circle of friends – and you know who you are – but I will be the first to admit that sometimes there is no better way to express a feeling that a well-placed swear word. Well-placed being the key. I also do not expect my children to be Miss Little Goodie Two Shoes by any stretch. What I do expect is appropriate behavior brought about by empathy for those who may be around. Is that too much to ask, too oppressive, just plain unrealistic? Golly gee whiz, I hope not.
So to you kewl kidz out there, please respect the old guy in the corner and the possibility that he would prefer to have his coffee and bagel w/o the "fxxxxxg," "bxxxh" or "sxxt"on the side.