My daughter Dove posed for her portrait the other day. It was nice to shoot her in her bedroom because her room speaks about who she is. Dove is a very confident 15 year old who enjoys times with friends, watching shows on her iPad, watercolor painting and baking cookies and cakes. She has always had different little jobs in the neighborhood - like making the bed for Doris at the rest home, shoveling snow for Shirley the past three winters -- and most recently she is Jennifer's helper a few mornings a week watching her two little ones. Dove spends a little money on outings to Spoon-lickers but most of her earnings goes right into her bank account for the day she launches off on her own.
When I was living at home as a teenager back in the 70's, I put a lot of pictures up on the wall. I guess this was my way of making the room my own. Like Dove's room, mine was an extension of my personality. What went up on the wall said something about what was important to me at the time. I favored art reproductions, and my own drawings of animals from National Geographic and girls from my older sister's Glamour magazines. My bedroom was a refinished room (complete with paneling and a dropped ceiling) in the basement which is where the workshop was - which made a perfect combination.
A lot of parents complain about their teenagers and all the stuff they put them through. It's a difficult stage because teenagers are living on the edge of adulthood. They have begun the difficult job of individuation. This is the process of defining their personality and predilections apart from those of their parents. Conflict and struggle are a natural part of this experience and need to be taken in stride by both parent and child.
I recently watched the movie Teenage, directed by Matt Wolf. It's a beautiful look at what it means to live in that space between childhood and adulthood. The music is great - and the collage style film making, together with the Terrence Malik-like voice overs really make for a powerful experience. Here's the trailer if you would like to take a peek;
What do you remember with fondness from your teenage years? What was difficult? I would love to hear from you.