I can’t help myself. Listening in on my teenagers’ conversations with their friends is a little like watching an episode of Jersey Shore….you know no good will come of it, but you just can’t help yourself. My analogy alone let’s you know that my household has already been taken over by teenage boys; three of my own and then, of course, all of their friends who come and go through my house like a revolving door. Now I don’t purposefully try to listen in on their discussions (well, maybe sometimes) I just can’t but hear them since they’re so loud. At first my ears perked up due to the deepness of their voices. Mind you these are kids who I’ve known just about their entire lives. To hear their voices change and get deeper is already a shock to the system. I was just getting used to the facial and body hair and now I have to hear them speak like little men. Then came the cursing. At first a couple of slipped stray expletives. I tried to put a stop to it. My efforts were in vain. Soon the floodgates opened, the dam burst, whatever metaphor you want to use—these kids let loose a torrential downpour of swear words the likes of which I haven’t heard. I didn’t know you could conjugate the word F— in so many ways. These kids were linguistic geniuses.
Then came the conversations about the girls. Who likes who, whose going out with who, who dumped who, who’s hooking up with who. Still unclear to me what exactly is involved in a hook-up and not sure I really want to know. Then the i-chat and the facebooking and texting. I can’t keep up. What happened to the days of listening in outside your kid’s bedroom door.
Ofer Aronskind is the author of adventure books for kids