August 06, 2005

Scared & Angry

Three boys, ages 4, 8, and 15, live here. Many others of different ages pass through, staying for an hour, a day, or two days at a time. Sometimes listening to them is pure joy. Sometimes its pure comedy. And sometimes ...

The other day, an argument began. I'm not sure what started it, but the boys started putting each other down, using anything they could as a verbal weapon. They started criticizing each other's shoes, skateboards, whatever. Their argument led to yelling, which led to cussing, which led to hurt feelings.

The other day, one of the older kids was riding in the car with me, when an SUV pulled in front of us. "Look at that poser," said the kid. "He has the same tailpipe as my Dad has on his truck."

"If it's the same," I said, "why is it that he's a poser and not you?"

"Because we got ours first."

"How do you know? For all you know, that tailpipe could have been passed down from his ancestors, and was on his great grandfather's Model T."

"Model what?"

Now I know that some of this is normal. But I also think --- and this is my hypothesis --- that these boys have a lot of anger and a lot of fear, a lot more than I had when I was a teenager in the 80s.

I think that they're afraid, because they are no longer children; they're becoming men, but they have no one to show them what that means. Their male role models are either non-existent or inadequate.

I'm a little less sure why they're so angry. Maybe for the same reasons. Maybe because they come from families that are broken. I'm not sure. One thing I do know is that they're over here a lot, and must find something that they need here. I can only pray that it makes a difference.


Jim said...

"Catching up" since my last visit and reading your recommendation for a good place to eat if I ever go west. Just wanted to say you continue to provide a great meal here, yourself. Boys will be boys; but without someone to lead them to the reality of Christ, the men they become is another subject.....

[rhymes with kerouac] said...

"Their male role models are either non-existent or inadequate... Maybe because they come from families that are broken."

Almost 30 years ago I had a high-school teacher refer to me as 'the original angry young man'. The reasons you've described above are exactly why.