With Teens, Sometimes You Have to Check On Them At Odd Times – Metaphors in Medicine
May 5, 2021
It’s 141AM and I needed to brush my teeth. I usually would just go back to sleep, but I’ve learned to sometimes take these opportunities to do what every parent of a teenager should do – go check up on them. Our daughter’s room was dark and she was asleep. I crept downstairs and the grandparents room was dark and quiet. But from our son’s room it was quiet and there was light coming from the closed door. I’ve learned to knock, because one does not burst into a teenage boys room. It’s impolite. So I gently knock knock knocked. No answer. I knock knock knocked – no answer. I gently opened the door and my teenage son was sitting in front of his computer with his headphones on – which is why he didn’t hear me. There was a youtube video of a Obama political speach. But the boy was fast asleep while sitting in his chair. I gently woke him up and told him to go to bed.
And I got to send a very fun email to Dr. Perry Sheffield, who is a very accomplished environmentalist friend and follows Dr. Plastic Picker, asking her to speak about clean air in San Diego. And I got to tell her that I was able to lead our wonderful author group Durrwachter-Erno et al and how much fun we had. And I got to articulate for the first time my real dream of writing my book about this journey and the drive cross country that I want to do picking up trash with all my environmental friends. Because this blog has always been about the dreams of a liveable planet during the real work of cleaning up the earth, and activating environmentalism here in my little corner of the world.
But this book and book tour and dream of meeting all these wonderful people, is intertwined with making sure said teenage boy actually gets through highschool and goes to college. I’m really lucky because Mr. Plastic Picker is so good with the kids , and on top of them and their schooling. He made me review next year’s junior year schedule and it seemed really heavy. AP US History, AP Chemistry, AP Precalculus, AP English, AP Spanish and Creative Writing. He could take another class which is advanced programming, as he is really good at it and it’s an easy A for him – but I did weigh in that I thought it would be better to take 6 classes and have a study period.
So my job is to keep on picking up trash, making organic homemade food which hopefully will keep him well nourished, and pop in here and there to make sure he is in bed. He usually is in bed on time, but he is still my son and that is what moms are supposed to do. During the dark of night, one should sleep. And I will go to sleep. But at least I got to make sure he slept in his proper bed and did not get neck strain. I got to send an inspired email to the famous Dr. Perry Sheffield. She is really famous and has done so much to try to save the earth for our children. And I got to dream about the book I want to write and 2 summers from now when I can finally go drive cross country. And I will go to bed. I did a lot of work work today on vaccines, and reorganizing redundant committees, and doing the final submission on our article. I posted a bunch of times on facebook about the article and then took down the post. I realize the more I accomplish in our environmental work, the more quiet I need to be. I can be on this blog and write my truth, but to more the world forward in climate activism – I need to let people have space to grow in their work. And that is what I noticed about Dr. Perry Sheffield at meetings. She has this quiet confience and builds people up. That is true leadership.
The picture above is because we are presenting at that conference as Durrwachter-Erno et al !!!! We are seriously going to get Tshirts which I’m going to deliver on my book tour!