THERE, we actually have very little contact with teenagers, other than relatives and the family friends from our parish. These family friends are, without exception, the kind of teenagers I'd like my children to be: kind, polite, mentors to the young. The few "stranger" teenagers that we encounter while out and about are generally consumed with their own business. That's fine; I expect teenagers to be fairly self-absorbed. Were M to try and join in a game of soccer or basketball being played by teenagers in our neighborhood, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that he'd be asked to play somewhere else (either politely or no). Were M to play in the middle of the basketball court during a pick-up basketball game, he would also be asked to go elsewhere (or just run over).
|T watching the simultaneous games of hide-and-seek and basketball being played at the γήπεδο.|
HERE, teenagers are, at least toward my children, like the ones we encounter at our parish in the States. Today M, Z, and a gaggle of their friends were playing at the γήπεδο(basketball court), weaving in and out of a group of teenage boys, who were playing basketball. Not once did the teens, by word or action, make the younger kids feel unwanted; they actually tried to play so that the ball wouldn't hit the young children. In addition to what I saw today, I have noticed other examples of kindness toward young children throughout our stay here. M constantly tries to join in the big kid games, and is included at his level. Even the teenage boys pinch T's cheeks and interact with him! Amazing.