Last month was a great month for me. Both of my kids had their reading weeks at college so they could come back home for a while. Unfortunately they both had different weeks off, but we did have one gloriously fun overlapping weekend. The upside of this arrangement was that I got to spend more one on one time with both of them than I usually would. This can be quite daunting, especially in the case of my son who isn't terribly loquacious.
Towards the end of the week I realized that most of the time I spent with him in public consisted of walking a few steps behind him exhorting him to pull his pants up. It drives me nuts, but he's the one with the droopy pants and it doesn't seem to worry him in the least. He seems to be an expert at hiking his jeans up just before they are about to fall to his knees. Seems pretty risky to me, but he's got it down to an artform. It shouldn't be terribly difficult to convince this generation that wearing clean underwear is important.
I found myself looking for topics to start meaningful conversations with him, It wasn't easy.
I tried to start a conversation about the merits of wearing a belt or suspenders. He didn't seem very interested in that particular subject. I talked about how important it can be to wash your jeans regularly so they cling a bit better to the waistline. Again, he wasn't too impressed and that ended up going nowhere. An attempt was made to discuss how to accurately assess the size of one's waist so that properly fitting pants can be purchased. This too was a non-starter. One final effort was made to talk about how inmates in prison have saggy pants because belts are verboten because they can be turned into a weapon. You'd think that this might interest a teenager, but no, he already knew this.
I had run out of things to talk about. Teenagers can be difficult, that's for sure. I was out of material.
Sometimes I guess it's just best to quit nagging and let him be.
We really don't need forced conversations and lectures to have a meaningful interaction. Sometimes we play Xbox, sometimes we listen to music, we go for quiet drives, and best of all is when he just tags along with me and helps me get some of my tasks done, we can both feel useful and happy at the same time.
Perhaps on certain occasions just a look and a smile can convey way more meaning than a conversation ever could. I also know that when the time comes he will pull his pants up of his own accord, or maybe the right girl will come along and entice him to dress just a little bit better. Either way, it's not something I should worry about too much.