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October 23 • 09:16 AM
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Learning to 'lighten up' with teenagers



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shadow
February 03, 2010
I'm trying to remember a little story I heard the other day about a teenager trying to persuade his dad to let him get his driver's license. I think it was a Lighten Up clip by Ken Davis. Close as I can remember, the negotiations went something like this: "Tell you what, Son, clean the garage and bring up your grades, and we'll talk. Oh, and by the way, Joey, your hair's getting pretty long. I'd like to see you get it cut."

Over the next few weeks Joey got the garage looking pretty respectable and really buckled down on the homework. He approached his dad and said, "Well, what do you think?"

Dad gave the garage a once-over and looked at his grades approvingly. "What about the hair cut, though, Joe? Wasn't that part of the deal?"

Joey was prepared. "You know, Dad," he retorted persuasively, "I been reading about Samson, and David, and some of those guys. Seems like they all had long hair. Most people think Jesus even had long hair."

Dad was ready with his trump card. "As I recall," he countered offhandedly and with the laugh wrinkles around his eyes showing, "those guys walked pert near ev'rywhere they went, too."

I could wreck the story by alluding to the obvious—that "negotiations" is a too-kind word, since Dad was the only one talking. It could be argued, also, I suppose, that the hair and the license don't necessarily have anything to do with each other. And I could admit that the words "pert near" are my own dad's words the way they play in my head. But, hey, the clip was called Lighten Up. And that's what we're trying to do.

Willene Tanis is a longtime resident of the Imlay City area and an active volunteer in the community. Many readers find her 'Perspectives' column to universal and uplifting.
Castle Creek
10 - 23 - 17
09:16
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