Monday, July 27, 2009

Tommy Can You Hear Me?

As some of you may know, there is nothing more wonderful than raising kids. On that same note, there is nothing more horrifying than raising a teenager, particularly a teenage daughter. My wife and I have done a pretty good job of handling the upbringing of my oldest daughter who is almost 14. Everything kind of came naturally, that is until now. For the first time, we realize we haven't got a clue as to what we are doing.

My sweet little girl has become confronting, argumentative, and disrespectful at times. Yes, she has the potential to be a pure Gremlin. In general, the fighting happens between my daughter and my wife who understandably is reluctant to take the crap that my daughter has come to believe she is privileged to dish out. It is pretty much impossible to break through the barriers of my child's mind to get her to understand her responsibility for her actions. She doesn't understand where she is wrong and doesn't want to hear it. It seems like the same fight over and over and at times I duck my head into my foxhole until the shrapnel quits flying. Often I have to step in to fan out the smoke so everyone can see clearly. Still, the point is, my daughter doesn't hear what we are saying. She doesn't want to see her part in the problem. She doesn't want to talk about what she could do differently so that we might all live in harmony.

This is where I bring in the reference "Tommy can you hear me"? This phrase is from the rock opera movie "Tommy" based on music by The Who (1975). The Movie is about a young boy who's' father in the military, returns home one night and sees his wife with another man. The man then kills Tommy's father by smashing a lamp over his head as Tommy witnesses the whole thing. Tommy is then told by the mother and the lover that he "didn't hear it, didn't see it" and "won't say nothing to no-one". As a result, Tommy becomes deaf, dumb, and blind in order to block out the tragedy and conform to the request of his mother and her lover. The movie then revolves around the mother and eventual step father breaking through the wall Tommy has built to enclose himself from the outside world.

So there is my comparison. "Tommy can you hear me, Tommy can you see me"? My extremely brilliant daughter has become the "deaf, dumb and blind kid" when it comes to the reasoning of parenting. In addition, I'm concerned that she doesn't "play a mean pinball" in order to snap out of it. ( You'll have to watch to movie if you don't follow what I'm saying there.) Nevertheless, here I am trying to play "the miracle worker" to mediate and communicate where possible. That is, when I'm not ducking into my foxhole. Some tell me this is normal. Although I'm still concerned, the only thing I can do is turn it over to God. I pray, I love and every now and then I peep out of my foxhole. As stressful as it all can be, my faith tells me God will take care of me, my wife, and most importantly my baby girl. I also know He will give me the strength to deal with the next teenage girl who for now is nine. I pray more. I would also appreciate it if you would pray for me.

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