Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Redhead is Fifteen

The youngest grandson turned fifteen a few days ago.  I stopped by to visit with him a bit.  He owed me a chat because he went to Australia this summer and he had not yet given me a report on the experience.  

Brayton shared his pictures with me and gave me some commentary on the trip.  Not bad, really, for a teenage boy to be able to talk with his grandfather even if the two of us do occupy different worlds.  Or so it seems to me sometimes.  Young people these days pick up electronic gadgets and almost without conscious thought push the right buttons to obtain their desired results.  Anything with more than three buttons is a mystery to me, with the exception of the standard qwerty keyboard.  And do you know how long that has been standard?  I don't even use the AC and the radio in the car because I have to know the three buttons for lights, wiper, and seat adjustment because BBBH drives the car too.  Don't get me started on buttons within buttons and multifunction "stalks" sticking out of the steering column.

Anyway, back to Brayton.  It is interesting the things that impressed the lad.  In one picture he was holding a koala in his arms and the pleasure of the experience was evident both on his face in the picture and in the response to my comment, that response being, "Yeah."  But when I noted a picture of the Sydney Opera House and asked if he had had the opportunity to visit its interior, the boy lit up.  Yes.  It was fantastic.  And what impressed him most?  The basement area and its work rooms, the commodious space for people therein to practice their skills or their arts.  The size of the rooms.  You never know what someone else will enthuse about.  See, I didn't even know the place had a basement.  (Though of course I was not surprised.)

Conjecture might conjure up some of the ways in which the world might change in the next sixty-some years before Brayton attains my current age, but likely with much inaccuracy.  Little do we know what might develop, just as I am amazed at the developments that have occurred in the short space of my own memory.  I won't get to see Brayton's world of 2075, but I wish for him the maintenance of the sense of awe and wonder that will enable him to absorb and enjoy the changes as they come.


Jim said...

So I have a 15 year old. The key, I find, to getting him to talk is to just ask him questions about things he had experienced or knows about, and then make "I'm listening" noises and occasionally ask a clarifying question. See, I'm asking him to talk about *his* world on *his* terms, rather than asking him to work in mine. Sometimes it takes a little for him to get going, but it usually leads him to gush forth.

Shelly said...

I enjoy listening to my 16 year for the same reaon- just to hear what enthuses her. Brayton sounds like a terrifif fellow, and happy birthday to him!

Secondary Roads said...

Our 20 y.o. granddaughter also did the Australia trip with People to People. Saw the opera house, toured the harbor and has the pic of her holding the koala. I enjoy hearing about that, but even more her accounts of mission trips to Mexico.

Vee said...

Happy Birthday to Brayton! He was so privileged to be invited on this trip.

Interesting that both you and I have a red-headed grandchild, but no red hair in our generation.

vanilla said...

Jim, best to you as you communicate with your children. It is so important to develop a relationship that promotes interaction of this sort.

Shelly, youngsters truly are interesting if they are given a chance to express themselves.

Chuck, your granddaughter and my grandson: two redheads share an experience, though I know the trips were not at the same time.

Vee, I hope B. knows how lucky he is. There is no doubt that his red hair is genetically honest: his maternal grandfather had fiery red hair.

Sharkbytes said...

Very cool! You and Chuck both have redheads- not sure how you managed that. I know of only one other boy/man named Brayton and he's also from Indiana. Hmmm.

vanilla said...

Shark, I know another Brayton, a Braydon, and a Bradon. I don't know where the parents get the names these days, but that's okay.

Lin said...

It's not the words that matter, it's that you spend time with him and that you care. How wonderful for you both.

Oh, and that he got to go to Australia too. Kids are lucky these days that traveling is such a big part of their learning experience.

vanilla said...

Lin, it is a different world. In my youth travel adventure was to plop a Richard Halliburton book in the lap; today, plop the lap in a seat on Qantas and be half-way around the world in a day.