Parental Abuse ©
If it wasn’t for our eldest son, I would forget how important peers are to that strange teen age, how important it is that no-one be different. Above all, he must not be embarrassed in public by his family.
Unfortunately for him, we broke that rule during Thanksgiving last weekend. Nothing compared to the humiliation he suffered then. “Parental abuse, ” he called it.
Yes, we did have Thanksgiving dinner (turkey et al) but it was on the Saturday. No reason. Maybe because we were better organized and had more time that day. This meant on Monday, when the entire neighbourhood was sitting down to a traditional Thanksgiving meal, we decided to barbeque hamburgers. After all, it happened to be a beautiful day.
“You can’t!” he gasped in horror. “What will the neighbours think----eating hamburgers on Thanksgiving! How could you do this to me?”
Naturally we ignored his appeals and entreaties and proceeded to barbeque. It is important to note here that our backyard is open--- no fences--- as are our neighbours', as far as the eye can see. This does mean any backyard shenanigans are exposed to many, perhaps judgmental, observers.
Our embarrassed teen peered surreptitiously about the neighbourhood with a bag over his head to hide his identity and wafted the smoke away, hoping to throw the scent off his weird family’s holiday habits. I think he was in real emotional pain.
But he ate the hamburgers---his favourite food---anyway.
I haven’t the heart to tell him our Christmas dinner plans call for canned gravy over hot dogs grilled in full view of our neighbours.
So please set an extra plate for Christmas dinner. You may find a humiliated teenager on your doorstep in search of a traditional turkey meal with a normal, well-balanced family.