Sep 17, 2013

I touched on the idea of the memories of a child here...but I wanted to expand on a conversation that Chris and I had.

Since Heon has been in our home Chris and I have had to have some serious conversations about raising a teenager.  We jumped into this experience with open minds and even more open hearts.  Unfortunately we didn't think to talk through the nitty gritty of going out, curfews and social life.

Heon's first night out was a little trial and error for our family.  But after this mostly error, Chris and I came up with a set of ground rules.  Rules we have never had to discuss and rules that are being created ahead of their time.  In a way we are lucky to be put into this position.  The only thing holding us back is the fact that Heon is not our son.  We are his guardians, but he is 18, an adult and not related to us, living under our roof.  As much as we could prepare ourselves by outwardly claiming that we would embrace him as a family member, which we still stand by, there is only so much that we could actually be prepared for. 

Mostly we came to the conclusion that kids will find a way to make their own memories.  As Chris and I were talking about our childhood, we realized that as much as we could inform our parents of our plans for an evening, evenings could take a turn through a series of events.  Friends were joined by other friends.  Someone had a better idea. Or we would wander to the house next door, trading a dip in the pool for a bounce on the trampoline.  We could be in one home in the mind of our parents but gallivanting through another in reality.

Even now at family get togethers I will literally not see my daughter for hours.  I will realize that the last time I saw her she asked if the kids could play upstairs, but now they are outside on the play set. Through a series of events, most of them make believe, they have found their way through the house, making memories.  Some day she will look back on her childhood and have memories that have absolutely nothing to do with her father and I.  And I have to be okay with this.

I can prepare myself and prepare my children to be open and honest.  To include each other in our daily comings and goings.  But there will be memories, true, deep, honest, fun, exciting, scary, memories that my children will never share with me. 

So with a new teenager in our home, making American memories of his own, we realized that we have to be okay with this.  We have to teach our children to communicate with us to the best of their abilities, to give them ground rules, but not be mad when they call us for a ride home because their friend left them stranded at the mall, while they smooth things out with their significant other.  (Yes, this happened...real life Korean drama is the BEST).
All in the name of memories.