My kid’s one of those ‘kids these days’

Most parents would be nervous about the influence a group of random teenagers would have on their 3-year-old.
Not me.
I was taking pictures of Monticello High School seniors while my daughter made her way through a giant box of markers opened up for her by members of the business teaching staff, when I realized half the classroom had converged on her.
As the most frequent utterance was “awwww,” I kept on working and let her entertain her audience.
And an audience it was.
A 3-year-old held captive a (mostly female) sector of the class, who helped her color pictures and asked her about her favorite colors, her age, and other things most important to a preschooler.
And she was milking it.
She apparently pronounced her hands – covered in six or seven different colors of marker – dirty, and allowed herself to be scooped off the chair and led hand-in-hand off to a bathroom by one of the teenaged members of the class.
No “bye Mommy.” No “Mom, I’ll be right back.”
I looked up, and she was on her way out, cool as a cucumber.
Coming back, she wasn’t afraid to inform the entire room that there had been no soap – and you have to have soap, after all.
It says as much about today’s teenagers as it does my self-possessed preschooler. As her mother, of course I find her charming.
But for a gaggle of teenage girls to agree is something.
They could easily have remained perched on their desks, waiting for the reporter to finish taking a few photos before they had to get into position for the group shot.
Several of their classmates did – and there’s nothing wrong with that. They were all polite, respectful.
I get a headache listening to those “kids these days” whines. I’m a parent, do you think I’m really the best audience for a lecture degrading today’s children?
And it isn’t just the toddlers who are positive signs of the future.
Teens are teens. They do stupid things sometimes, sure. But they’re hopeful, happy, helpful.
Plenty of them are willing to step in, grab a toddler by the hand, and march her off to the bathroom to wash the marker off her hands.
That’s just the kind of influence I want on my child.
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