What were you thinking about when you were 14? The PSATs? Whether the person you liked was ever going to look your way? Saving up for an engagement ring? If this was a game of "which of these does not belong," the last one would be your answer.
And yet there's been some hub bub this week about a kid who started doing just that. Reddit user SeanAir announced he's been setting quarters aside since he was just barely past puberty to one day buy a gal a big rock. He's now 19 and has no prospects but a good start on a down payment.
And that, ladies and germs, is one of the saddest things I've read all week.
I can only imagine that the people oohing and aahing over his financial savvy are enamored with the idea of a teenage boy swept up in romance rather than hormones. We don't get a lot of mensch-y teenage boy types in the news. I understand the appeal. I'm the mother of a daughter, after all! One of these days I'll be wanting boys thinking about wedding her, not bedding her.
But come on! Romance does not have to equal marriage, or buying rings for that matter. Whatever happened to figuring out how to brush her fingers in the popcorn tub at the movies? Or asking her to prom?
Engagement is a pretty heavy topic for a 14-year-old to be considering. They're still four years away from even being legally allowed to wed, forget being mature enough.
How do I know? I'm no childhood development expert, but I got married at 18 (I actually met him at 14!). We're still together, still married. It was the right choice for me.
And it's knowing that my young love story worked out that makes me even more sure that a 14-year-old should have different priorities. My young marriage, as good as it has been for me, did steal from me many aspects of young adulthood that I never got to enjoy.
I don't regret them, and I'll tell you why: because before I got engaged (at 17), I had a pretty normal childhood. I was able to think like a kid about the aforementioned PSATs or my best friend's mercurial mood swings.
I had stress but it was, for lack of a better term, age appropriate stress!
That's what I want for my kid: for her to be a kid for as long as possible. I don't want her worrying about whether her eggs are spoiling or whether she'll end up 40 and alone ... not at 14. There's plenty of time for that when she's all grown up.
How about you? What would you do if your 14-year-old was already saving up for engagement rings?
Image via Koshyk/Flickr
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside