Monday, June 1, 2009

Island Wisdom

On Saturday, I strolled through Balboa Island in Newport Beach with a good friend. Another single mother with a teenager. It's a darling little beach town dotted with million-dollar cottages and alluring boutiques.

We walked into a store called Heart of the Island, a gallery featuring the works of Southern California artists. Decorative ceramics, paintings, whimsical gifts, that kind of thing. My friend and I were discussing teenagers, our favorite and sometimes not-so-favorite topic, and right on cue, I walk by this framed poem titled, "Teen Creed." While I had promised myself that I wouldn't be buying anything that day, this item fell under that "It's Fate and you just have to get it" category.

Besides, I didn't buy it for ME, I bought it for my teenager, the alien. It's full of wisdom to help teens through those difficult teen years. (I am hoping that the quip about driving resonates the most with my daughter.) The shopkeeper told me that Oprah read this on her show not too long ago. I've pasted it below.

But what really sold me on this poem was the signature at the end. It was signed, "Lynn," as if I had written it myself. (The real writer's name is Lynn Kessinger.)

No matter how hard you try to resist the call of the wild, spontaneous purchase, some things were just meant to be yours.

Teen Creed

Don’t let your parents down,
They brought you up.

Be humble enough to obey,
You may give orders someday.

Choose companions with care,
You become what they are.

Guard your thoughts,
What you think, you are.

Choose only a date
Who would make a good mate.

Be master of your habits,
Or they will master you.

Don’t be a showoff when you drive,
Drive with safety and arrive.

Don’t let the crowd pressure you,
Stand for something . . .
Or you’ll fall for anything.

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