When my teenaged daughter and I take our late night dog walks around the neighborhood, we talk. I think, it is the only venue where we can talk. She always has her headphones in her ears, but she assures me that she can still hear me. Here is what I have learned in the past year and I hope that it will help all of my middle-aged friends:
- Dr. Who has no sexuality. He never has sex even though he is thrown together with very hot women. (I am sure I remembered an episode where he did have sex with a Victorian woman…but he had amnesia then)
- Batman died. There is a new one.
- Django Reinhardt is not the same man as Jango Fett
- According to middle- schoolers in our town, Vampires are “out”. My daughter thinks that this is funny and disagrees. She hates Twighlight.
- Zombies are still popular. Her school guidance counselor had called me several months ago to alert me to my daughter's “very dark thoughts”. She had done a comic book in French for French class about flesh eating zombies. I had to cite all of the popular zombie literature that is in the public libraries in surrounding towns before (I am not sure that I really did) I could convince that her that zombies are now a normal part of teen culture.
- Joan Jett is sexier than I am even though I am younger.
- People have tried to have cyber sex with her on the internet but she can handle it. If they ask her for a picture, she has tons of Google images to send to dissuade them further. That means if they ask her for a picture of her pussy, she sends them a cat and disconnects.
- She has had friends that have had suicidal thoughts. We deal with these as they happen on each of our walks.
- Relationships over the internet are real. This is a constant debate that I have with her. In our walks, I have gotten to know more about her friends all over the world. She has a “wife” on Facebook. Her close friend is a vegetarian from Texas whose father makes her go hunting with him. The girl is an absolute genius and lives in a very small border town. We sent her a vegetarian care package because she can’t even get tofu when her family drives for miles to the only supermarket. The girl’s father still does not believe that we are real despite the fact that we just sent a large box.
My daughter is brilliant and seems very old for her age. She also looks much older. My husband and I are sometimes astounded by her ability to have political and philosophical discussions. Yet she is still a child.I don’t believe that I can really efficiently censor her. I can only provide boundaries. It would impossible for me to monitor every move she makes. I would not want to. I have to trust her to make good choices with my help. I am just glad that we have our walks.