Friday, March 24, 2006

The Years Roll By

As of today, I am technically the dad of a 17 year old. Who'da thunk it?

I could spend a lot of words on how fast these 17 years have past. I could reflect for pages on the changes God has wrought in me and the world since March 24, 1989.

Instead, one of the things that strikes me most as I consider Robbie being 17 is the difference between how I perceive myself as the father of a 17 year old and how i perceived my own father when I was 17.

I've asked several people this morning: "Do I act old enough to have a 17 year old child?" I've gotten mixed responses.

My recollection of my own dad from when I was 17 is that he was, and presented himself as, much more mature than I think myself to be. As I recall, my dad and I had a good relationship, but when I was 17, he was (sorry, dad!) old.

One of the differences is that I have spent most of the years since I was 17 in youth ministry. I have intentionally stayed more connected to the "youth culture" than my own father did.

Yet I cannot help but wonder if I seem as "old" to my 17 year old as my dad did to me when I was that age. I'll ask her this evening, and I'll let y'all know.


At 10:58 AM, Blogger ~NAM said...

Great post. I feel the exact same way about my son(s)/dad relationship contrast... I attibute it more to changes in our culture. I see a lot more difference between me and my parents than I did with them and their parents, but ultimately, I wonder how our kids see it.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Richard H said...

Good question. I've wondered about that kind of stuff also.

One thing that MAY be a factor is that in our generation we've had so much more input (I think), so many more people looking over out shoulders all the time as we raise our kids.

I have noticed that I'm way more protective of my kids than my parents were. A major motivator in this is the constant barrage of BAD NEWS regarding things that can happen to children. I'm not sure this greater protectiveness is a good thing.
(Though I'm not encouraging my kids to take a graduation trip to Aruba anytime soon.)

At 7:42 AM, Blogger Dave Brower said...

When I was 17 my dad was old, sorry Steve. This isn't always a bad thing though. While I thought he was old I still thought he was awesome and a good friend. It was the perfect balance between being old (or a parent) and acting young (being a friend). The balance is where it is important. It's inevitable for kids, especially teenagers to view their parents as old, mainly because you are...older then they are.

At 11:16 PM, Blogger czimskey said...

Hey Steve. I figured I'd hop on the blogotrain and start my blogging attempts over here at Blogspot. Just letting you know I'm around and I enjoy your posts. Keep it up!


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