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Two sisters

My Cambodian neighbor thinks her children are going to hell in a handbasket (is that the expression? can you get to hell in a handbasket? Does it mean someone is carrying you there?), but when she talks about it, it sounds to me mainly like adolescence and the difference between your expectations if you've grown up in America and your expectations if you've grown up in Cambodia. It's sad for my friend, though--she's had a hard life, and it would be nice if things went smoothly for her.

So... I wanted to get the lowdown from her daughters (she has complaints about her sons, too, but it's the daughters I'm closer to), so I took them out this evening for some donuts (only our local Dunkin Donuts was getting ready to close and only had muffins left, so we had muffins instead, and fruit smoothies [2 of us] and an iced coffee [1 of us]), and we chatted. What nice girls they are! Very smart and very lively, and just--good kids. I feel so relieved. So now if I can only persuade my friend to relax, persuade her that her girls are good and that she can trust them, everyone will be happier. I don't know if I'll be able to do it, but I'll try.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 16th, 2006 12:48 am (UTC)
I don't understand why some people get so freaked out by teenagers. The old ladies in town here get in a huge tizzy whenever they see a pair of boys in strange pants standing around and talking. There's no crime here. The boys don't do anything. They're teens, of course they have weird pants!

Ah well.
Jun. 16th, 2006 07:38 am (UTC)
Some of that I think is people *enjoying* being outraged over the "youth of today"--never mind that they were doing similar at that age. People love to be scandalized. When the local youth are too boring, they get scandalized over movie stars.
Jun. 16th, 2006 01:01 am (UTC)
What a nice neighbor you are...

Jun. 16th, 2006 07:42 am (UTC)
I wish! That's part of my motivation I think--I've wanted to be a better friend, but life is so busy. I know how isolated my neighbor is, and how hard it was especially for the older sister in that family to integrate into the high school when they moved here. (She's in college now.) Nearby is a university town that's pretty diverse, but our town is in a 1950s time warp and doesn't have many people from faraway places living here. But I'm always rushing around w/my own obligations, and I like my own private time, too, so I haven't done as much as I could... but I do like that family a whole lot, so maybe this goes a little way toward showing them that I do like them...
Jun. 16th, 2006 05:52 am (UTC)
you are so nice to do that. It is so refreshing seeing people like you out there in the world doing such good things.
Jun. 16th, 2006 07:44 am (UTC)
nah, I'm pretty selfish really. I should spend more time w/people--I don't push myself as much as I should...
Jun. 16th, 2006 01:26 pm (UTC)
i don't know, i see you doing a lot of ripple effect actions. you are cool.
Jun. 16th, 2006 07:30 am (UTC)
we have this problem here too..
I see it all the time...children who are unable to talk to the parents and vice versa....when all the time, communication is easy...

Parents who seem to feel that it is their "control" which will keep the child "in line"...they seem to be training circus animals, not raising children! The child who wants to stray will do so regardless of circumstances.

I am glad you took the time and effort!
Jun. 16th, 2006 07:54 am (UTC)
Re: we have this problem here too..
I think it's especially hard when your parents are immigrants and you're trying to make a place for yourself here in America. I think it makes parents extra strict, and maybe it makes kids extra rebellious--though in my friend's case, I think it's mainly unnecessary anxiety on her part.

Her kids are so smart and hard-working, and they care about each other (I mean, they are nice siblings to one another)--but it's hard to have confidence in that when you see how lots of kids in America, both in the immigrant community and among Americans who have been here for several generations, make bad decisions (drop out of school, get pregnant, etc.)

I think my friend's kids will be all right, though. And even if something does happen, so long as there's love and family support, people can get back on track--so it's important to keep the love there!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )



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