Last Christmas, I gave you my heart But the very next day, you gave it away (Wham!, "Last Christmas")
Talking to teenagers about anything can prove very difficult. Take dating, for instance. Choosing which of our own experiences to share, and which of our hard-earned lessons to teach, is half the battle. The other half is having the humility to recognize our kids may not hear those stories and lessons the way we imagine.
For instance, similar to the Wham! song quoted above, I once got my heart broken during the holidays. Right before Christmas of my senior year in high school, I gave a diamond ring to the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. Lucky for me, she also happened to be the only girl who’d ever agreed to be my girlfriend.
A week later, however, she gave the ring back, along with the “girlfriend” title as well.
So what’s the lesson here…Don’t get too serious too soon? (Maybe.) What else…Guard your heart until you’re certain you’ve found the one? (Tempting, but how is that even possible?)
Perhaps the best move is to simply tell our teens the stories, and then ask what they think. That’s what I decided to do with this one. I poured out my sad song, and here was my son’s response:
“Dad, you gave her a diamond ring for Christmas, in high school? No wonder Mom dumped you.”
“I guess she already told you her side, eh?”
“There is no other side, Dad.”
On second thought, maybe we should let our teens figure it out themselves.
[This is a repeat Pause from a couple of years ago. I resurrected it here because Jenny, in all our radical downsizing these days, actually found the ring with the microscopic diamond in it. I gave it back to her when we got back together, and she's kept it for the 29 years since.]