Some Hard-Core Adolescence Advice

Here’s a great thing about living with a teenager: after making (and consuming) wontons, you linger at the table and discover your daughter is searching for a penguin.

A penguin?

Apparently, a mate for life, although the last I’d read some penguins are seasonally monogamous. Apparently, that’s a technical point.

I offered advice, which, as my daughter pointed out, might actually be useful, as I’ve messed up my penguin quest.

I rattled off the general look-for list – respectful, responsible, disciplined, generally decent and humorous – and finally said, Think about what he fills his life with, and what you fill yours with. Does he pursue money? Sports? Video games? Career? Will what he pursues bear out, decades later?

We ate the second batch of wontons. I mentioned what drove her father and I apart, in the end, was what we each love most. We kept talking, around and around, about little bits. She offered me the last wonton.

Here’s a few lines from an incredible essay my father emailed me. If you read nothing else this September, read this.

In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship — be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles — is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.

– David Foster Wallace



About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
This entry was posted in alternative lifestyles, mothering, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Some Hard-Core Adolescence Advice

  1. Karen says:

    Capital-T Truth. Thank you for this. I needed the clarity. Your father seems pretty awesome, btw.

  2. My father is darn awesome — thanks! He was a college professor, and I know his students thought so, too.

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