I am not one of those teachers (or people) who make snide comments like “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Even when the situation calls for it. Like one time a colleague of mine, a wonderful man who is married with two young children, and he still stays until way later than he has to and tutors and helps kids. Then one day this poor teacher was flummoxed because this one student who was a total punk ass jerk, when told he had detention for some infraction, gave the “eye” to the teacher and said, “suck my balls.”
When this teacher called the boy’s mother to let her know what happened and that he had to write her son up, the mother replied, “what did you do to get my son so upset.”
I try not to judge parents based on what their kids do because I have teens myself. So do most of my girlfriends.
A topic that sometimes comes up is the whole nature versus nurture debate.
Now, I’m not saying every parent should not try their best to make good decisions regarding their children. I applaud all of us who have tried to instill values. Who gave up a life of our own in order to provide experiences for our children like sports and performing arts, cub scouts and girl scouts. Sleepovers and camping trips. The list is long.
But I have seen kids with a great attitude and a keen sense of themselves and what they need to do for a better future come out of some of the worst homes you can imagine.
Likewise, some children who seem to have been raised with the right balance of discipline and opportunity are hell bent to piss it away.
Or the case of siblings who seem like night and day. A close friend (old college roommate) of mine has teen twin girls. One is a straight “A” student, in student government, an athlete, and a very nice person. My friend describes her daughter like this,
She seems like a kiss ass, but she’s really that nice. She’s not faking a thing.
Her twin sister started throwing away her homework in kindergarten. And flirting with boys soon afterwards.
As for me, my daughter seems to have been born with graciousness and humility. I never take credit for these qualities in her. Adults always like her. Her teachers adored her. The down side is she is so nice she has had to work very hard to learn how to stick up for herself.
My son has the tenaciousness of a prehistoric giant squid. It came with the added bonus of little impulse control and a sense of humor that only people with penises seem to appreciate.
Following three years behind her in school, he was surrounded by a chorus of comments that he could not possibly be the younger sibling of Daughter.
We try. I swear.
So, the other day my kids drove to town together for college classes like they do three days a week. They stopped at the coffee house where my daughter works and she went behind the counter to make Son a drink, which she was treating him to. Her regulars were hanging out. A couple of coworkers were busy being baristas.
Daughter starts the coffee machine and says
Hey Little Brother. Did you say you wanted a raspberry or hazelnut latte?
To which he replied
Bitch, I said I wanted a chocolate milk. Don’t make me say it twice.