Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Out of the mouth of the teenager

We had just watched an episode mid-way through the last season of Six Feet Under, in which David and Keith were struggling with their two new adopted children. Joel said, "Which do you think is harder? Growing up? or bringing up a family?"

Damn good question, I say. And of course, the two things are probably related, in that the way we bring up children has got lots to do with the way we were brought up, and our own experience of growing up. All those unarticulated dramas and memories that bubble along behind the day to day chaos of holding family life together.

This has been a great series. We are watching it on DVD and while I sometimes recoil at the Language - Sex - Drugs nexus, on Joel's behalf, it's been a great study in character, in family and in excess of various kinds, as nearly all the characters spiral up and down in hope and despair. And almost anything is better than watching commercial television.

And anything that triggers that kind of question can't be all bad, I think.

2 comments:

innercitygarden said...

I don't know which is harder, but it did occur to me when pregnant that my constant state of bodily change and hormonal fluctuations were very similar to being eleven or twelve and regularly bewildered by my body.

I'd probably add that bringing up a family is also a process of 'growing up' (but certainly not the only one, having kids isn't compulsory for maturity) when one learns that one is not only not the centre of attention, but that ones own needs become nothing in the face of another.

Stephanie Trigg said...

Hmmm. Nicely put. I realised I didn't have an answer to this question. At first I was going to say bringing up a family takes longer than growing up, but that's not necessarily true, either.

I suspect being adolescent is the most acute form of all this growing, though.