Teenager Doing Kid Stuff · 11 July 2009

Being eighteen with little brothers who are eleven and eight has its advantages. You get to be fairly independent and do little kid stuff too. I found out how much our eighteen-year old likes to do the kid stuff during the past couple weeks of summer vacation.

My wife, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi, and I are very blessed. Our eighteen-year old, Thing 1, still likes to do stuff with his family. Oh, he will sometimes grumble and groan, but for the most part it is merely an act. (Do not tell him that we know or we might get more of that morose teenager act that we already get plenty of.) It is especially obvious that he loves to do stuff with the family when he goes to a kiddy squirt park or does the little kid rides at the amusement park – both of which he has done in the past two weeks. He hemmed and hawed a bit when before we went to the squirt park but did not make any bones about going to Grandma and Grandpa’s for fun in the sun and a trip to the amusement park.

The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi thinks that Thing 1 is lucky to have his brothers so that he can have an excuse for doing kid stuff like going to the squirt park. (Which, by the way, is just a playground with lots of water squirters all around. Water comes up from squirters in the ground and falls or sprays down from squirters up above.) She thinks that Thing 1 needs an excuse to do kid stuff. I happen to disagree with her a bit. Thing 1 is secure enough in his own eyes to do the kid stuff without inflicting damage onto the image he projects to his peers. I think that he just likes to be with his family.

The proof that Thing 1 likes to be with his family really came about during our trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s this last week. Actually, it started before the trip, during the “planning” stages of our week vacation. When The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi and I talked to the kids about going to Silverwood, a water and amusement park in north Idaho, the younger kids were excited. Thing 1 showed his excitement by not arguing or making any excuses why he did not want to go or even acting morose or complaining that he had to be with his family for a whole week.

On the day of the trip to the amusement park, my wife and I suggested that Thing 1 take his brothers around the park while the two of us enjoyed the day without them. He showed his normal teenager mode and quickly said, “no.” But when we got to the park and were taking too long putting our things into the locker, Thing 1 showed his teenage impatience along with his excitement by doing what he said he would not do. He said, “You’re taking too long.” Then he grabbed his brothers and they were off to the water slides. We finally caught up with the three of them and they were all excited. Thing 1 showed his excitement all day with the smile in his eyes and on his whole face. When the day at the park was over, he stayed out of his teenager mode and said that the day was “great” rather than using some euphemism like “okay” to show his excitement.

There are lots of other things that Thing 1 does to show that he likes to be with his family and do the simple things. The likes to swim and play with his brothers. He will even swing on the swings or play on the equipment. Not just at the amusement park but anywhere that we happen to be together.

When all is said and done, it does not really matter whether our oldest son uses his two younger brothers as an excuse to do kid stuff or that he just likes being with his family. Either reason works for me. I just like the fact that we can still do things together. And that our eighteen-year old enjoys being there.

© 2009 Michael T. Miyoshi

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