Tag Archives: Teens

The Evolution of Clothes

Periodically, I check into my Google Reader and read posts from different bloggers, for entertainment and to keep abreast of news, trends and opinion. My friend and college, Linda Hoye, wrote a post on her evolution of clothes, which triggered a whole host of ideas in my head…One of which was what my kids wear, how they dress, particularly Holden.

What has become a trend among the young men of the hip hop generation, emulating the prison population (no belts or shoestrings to ward off suicide or murder by hanging, use as a weapon, or to advertise easy “access” for other inmates…that’s all I’m going to say…), is the wearing pants and shorts below the butt crack—sometimes below the butt, sometimes belted around the thighs (and when I see young guys struggling to walk dressed like, well, yes, I stop and watch. I want to pull the chair out of the back of my van, sit in it and eat popcorn.) Fascinating and entertaining. And utterly stupid.

Holden doesn’t wear his pants that low, however his pants are rarely above his butt crack. Even with a belt. His friends dress the same and, sad to say, I can tell who these young gentlemen are by glancing at the boxers in plain view. Not an intimacy I’m comfortable with.

Holden went out again last night with his jeans barely covering his rear. They weren’t sagging. A belt wouldn’t have helped. They just didn’t fit. He has outgrown them. Those jeans made it into the laundry this morning. You know, sometimes in the process of doing the laundry things just have a way of disappearing, like t-shirts with less-than-desirable slogans and non-fitting jeans, pants and shorts…



Filed under Multicultural Families, Parenting, The International Mom

He is 16, Going on 17…

Believe it or not, this birthday has me rather emotional.

Holden turning sixteen was…ummmm…tough. He was going to acquire his driver’s license (check), possibly becoming part of teen accident statistics within six months of receiving his license (check), and become even more independent because of the responsibility of driving (check, check).

So, here we are a year later. Part of me beams with quiet pride and another part of me wants to cry. Perhaps it’s because Holden now needs to shave on a regular basis (his man-stubble hurts when I kiss him). Maybe it’s due to the fact that he is making final visits to the colleges and universities on his list, preparing to leave in over a year (I put his graduation date on our calendar last week). Or, it might be that I feel I’m not needed as much as I once was.

But if I pay attention I see that I really am needed and although different, it’s just as wonderful. (The picture is courtesy of Josi…)


Filed under Multicultural Families, The International Mom

Judging a Book by its Cover

“That’s the White cul-de-sac,” he said, pointing left as we drove further into his middle-class neighborhood.

“What do you mean by that? What about the rest of the neighborhood?” I said.

“Only Whites live there. The rest of the neighborhood is mixed,” said Holden’s close friend, who is a Black teen.

“How do you feel about that?”

“Well, when I walk past the cu-de-sac to go play basketball they go into their houses. Every time! They’re so obvious. It’s pretty funny,” said Holden’s friend.

I didn’t find it funny. Only alarming and sad.

The boys cracked some jokes as we pulled into the driveway to drop off the friend, my happiness about spending a short time in the company of two wonderful boys had been diminished by cold hard facts.

As we left I asked Holden if he truly ever considered what his friend felt, what he lived with—the prejudice because of the color of his skin. He grew quiet and then responded that he hadn’t. Of course, Holden knew I was launching into a teachable moment. I went on to explain that his brother and sisters deal with this every day and always will. They are so young that they don’t fully understand the veiled prejudice they are experiencing, but as they grow older they will see it for what it is. People “judge a book by its cover.” 

To some extent, we are all guilty of it.

“That sucks, Mom,” he said.

I so agree with his admission. Discussions about race, racism and prejudice need to happen early and often. Take advantage of teachable moments.


Filed under Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Advocacy, The International Mom