The Heart of the Matter: What Grounds You?

 

So all last week I found myself thinking about a button.

button heart_opt

 

 

My son decided he wanted to go to prom (a week before prom, mind you), which meant a last minute run for prom tickets, a boutonniere, a corsage, and a tux.

My husband suggested he try on his tux. His twenty year old wedding tuxedo.

 

 

 

The tux fit. It was a tad roomy, but all it really needed was a new button.

I put mending on my to-do list, but the button stayed on my mind. Somehow that button represented happy nostalgia: twenty years of marriage, family, and kids being almost all grown up.

Of course, all this symbolic button thinking took place amidst the back drop of crazy, tragic things happening in Boston and all over the world.

But I had the luxury of thinking about that button.

And then this weekend we had our own bit of crazy to deal with, when some neighborhood kids thought it would be funny to rig up what looked like a homemade bomb on the steering wheel of my daughter’s car.

My daughter drives a retired Crown Victoria police interceptor and while we wondered if this thing in her car was a stupid prank, we also couldn’t help but worry whether this contraption rigged not only to her steering wheel, but attached to the door and the outside mirror, was some threatening message aimed at the police.

So we called the non-emergency police line and an officer came to the house. He was perplexed, cautious, and called his supervisor…

Who then called the bomb squad.

And then began the process of securing the roads around our neighborhood.

And then an officer asked us if we wanted to leave our house because this could be a very dangerous situation.

At this point, one of the kids responsible, came over and confessed. My daughter instantly burst into tears. She was relieved, but very hurt someone wanted to purposefully scare her like that.

I was mad. Because while it may have been a joke–and everyone was safe–our fear had been REAL.

You may think what I did next is a strange reaction, because while the bomb squad took the stupid contraption out of my daughter’s car (they still had to consider it a threat until they knew otherwise), I went inside the house and sewed the button on that tux jacket. I didn’t know what else to do with my confusion, my anger. Maybe because I’d been thinking about that button all week, that button somehow become some sort of fastener for my thoughts. It helped to ground me.

I mean what do you do when you get tangled and tripped up by the web of someone else’s stupidity?

You can’t control it. You can’t change their thinking. All you really can do is control your own actions (and somehow resist a response that might make you a contributing member to the spectrum of stupidity).

So I shifted my focus to the things that ground me.

Turns out, one hand me down tuxedo, plus one button, equals lots of love and support.

prom smile borrowed tux_opt

My son wearing his dad’s wedding tux.

 perfect troll face goes to prom_opt

The “perfect troll face” goes to prom. 🙂  My family grounds me, but also lifts my spirit. 

 

And because I couldn’t find a great quote for this post, I’m sharing this absurdly funny one.

funny quote computer beat me at chess_opt

 

What grounds you when your world gets shaky? 

Have a great week,

Teen Interview: It Ain’t Over Until the Perfect Troll Face Sings

 

It’s summer–schools are empty, teens are scarce–on vacation, at camp, or watching YouTube videos working summer jobs . . .

but Reader Paparazzi ~ my Q & A series featuring teen readers ~ must go on.  I spend a lot of time inside the mind of fictional teens–writing and reading, so it’s great to get a little real YA world perspective to help with character inspiration or simply if you want to see what holds a teen’s interest.

 

what teens read interview

It’s research, not stalking.

 

If you missed any previous interviews, click here or on the tab in the header above.

For this interview, I’ve cornered a teen close to home.

Meet Gavin, or as I have a habit of calling him, “G.”

G is sixteen.  He runs cross-country and track, sings in his school’s chorus and a capella club and is famous on the internet.

Well, sort of.

Have you heard of trolling, or better yet seen this face before?

 

gav perfect troll face t-shirt_opt

G is the number one image on Google for the perfect troll face.

 

perfect troll face boy

  A face only a mother could love . . .

but it’s hard to catch him NOT making faces:

troll face collage_opt

 I’m partial to this one:

g perfect troll face smiles_opt

A big hello to G!

So G, what makes you want to pick up a book to read?

It’s got to have something I can relate to.

What are you currently reading?

Moby Dick, for school.

Anything you relate to?

I don’t know, but reading this book is becoming AHABit.

I’m not sure if I believe you, but props on the pun.

What was the last book you read that wasn’t for school?

Try Not to Breathe by Jennifer R. Hubbard

Do you ever re-read books?

Yup.  I like to flip through the Guinness Book of World Records and the World Atlas.

What was your favorite book when you were younger?

Captain Underpants and Harry Potter

Favorite subject in school?

Spanish

Least favorite?

History

What would you like to learn how to do—that you don’t know how to do?

Learn more languages—like Swedish and German.

Okay, I received some questions from YA writers curious about teen relationships (ie dating).  What do you think is the most challenging thing about relationships?

Being yourself.

What was the last movie you saw?

Jeff, Who Lives at Home

Favorite tv show or movie you can watch again and again?

The Invention of Lying

Tell me three songs you’re listening to on your iPod:

The More I See You ~ Michael Buble

The Way You Look Tonight ~ Michael Buble

Flavour ~Bare Noize

What’s your favorite snack?

Veggie straws

What did you eat for breakfast?

Nothing because I’m fasting for the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’ Av, but yesterday for breakfast I ate Frosted Cheerios.  

I’m so hungry can we please not talk about food?

Okay, no more food talk. 🙂

Some quick-fire fill in the blanks:

I fear change.

I need clarity.

I hate homework.

I love singing. 

So here’s a tiny snippet of G doing what he loves:

Thanks G!

Do you have any questions you want answered by teens in future Q & As?  Or a question for Gavin?  Let me know in the comments. 

If nothow would you answer this quick fire fill in the blank?  I need _____.  (Seeing as it’s now Monday morning, I NEED COFFEE!)

Thanks! I love it when you comment. 🙂

Have a great week!