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Death by 14-year-olds

August 12, 2011

Our church is having a 24 hour “conference” for youth. Sparkette is signed up. Another 14-year-old, whom we’ll refer to as Daisy, needs a ride. Another 14-year-old, whom we’ll refer to as Petunia, decides to go at last minute. Daisy goes to Shoreline at least some of the time.   Petunia has only been with us a few times. Guess who gets to drive them all.

I get up early on a day I don’t have to work until 1:00pm and start prodding Sparkette to get up and get ready. Petunia isn’t here 15 mins past the time she said she would be.  We call her to find out she didn’t get up on time and her dad is going to take her. Ok, fine…a phone call would have been nice, though, since we were waiting on her and my telepathic powers seem to be on the fritz today.

We go to pick Daisy up. Except we end up trolling up and down her street trying to figure out where her house is because both the house and the mailbox are difficult to see. Finally Daisy comes out of her house and we figure it out…but we are now 15 minutes late. Daisy does not have her list of things to bring and has forgotten a load of stuff. She goes back into house. We leave 20 minutes late.

In the van Daisy realizes that she has forgotten her $50 registration. We are too far away from her house to go back. Church will likely let her pay later, so I press on.

I drive them to the church, listening to a litany of 14-year-old complaints about who and what is stupid and self-absorbed.  It’s so nice that I have the perfect 14 year olds in van, because to hear them tell it, the rest of the world is filled with idiots.   I keep my mouth shut, as I’ve discovered that one can learn a heck of a lot by listening, and there is something about the driver’s seat that tends to turn on some sort of cloaking device.  Kids kinda forget you are there.  Unless they want some gum or something.

Once we get there we find Petunia actually beat us there, but she says her dad is grumpy about having to take her and even more grumpy that he didn’t know the mall opened at 10am, and he has to stop by there.   There are two Starbucks between here and there, if nothing else.  I am not going to own this problem, which isn’t a problem at all but an inconvenience, and I’ve got enough inconveniences caused by 14-year-olds on my hands.

Upon sign-in we discover that Daisy has filled out no registration paperwork and though she thinks she might be registered, she is not. That means no parental permission forms. She wants me to sign them. Uh…no. then she can’t find her cell phone. I give her mine to call her mom at work. No answer (mom is an ER nurse and is probably busy dealing with violently deranged parents of other 14-year-olds). Daisy does not know dad’s work number. I hang out in the lobby 30 minutes waiting for this to be settled. Youth workers finally say I can sign the form but annotate that I am not a legal guardian, and put Daisy’s mom’s work number and info on it. I do this reluctantly. I am quite sure Daisy has permission to be there as she’s not the sort of kid to sneak off to a church conference in defiance of her parents’ wishes, but I don’t really want legal responsibility for a kid I don’t know well, you know?  This one could forget to breathe.

I finally leave to drive the 30 minutes back home. On the way Daisy’s phone starts ringing in my back seat. And yes…I’d encouraged her to go look in my van to see if she’d lost it in there. But of course, she didn’t.

I have to get myself out of this funk before work, but honestly, I’m feeling terribly cranky right now.  I hope those kids have a wonderful spiritual experience.  If they don’t, I may take them to see Jesus myself.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2011 11:12 am

    I have my own outing scheduled this afternoon. Only two tweens at this point but the day is early. You are so right about the driver’s seat being invisible. Lots to learn about these young ladies in a short trip to the movies.

  2. August 20, 2011 4:07 pm

    Oh, good times.

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