my generation?

I have a wandering minstrel in my first hour.

For the past two years, I have watched this kid walk the halls between classes with his guitar strumming made-up tunes, current tunes, and riffs from my own teenage years.

This fall he wandered into my class and sat in the front row.

He is a junior who was born the same year I was a junior in high school….1995.

We talk music a lot because he enjoys the bands from my teen years.  For awhile he and his friends would jam out some Weezer tunes in the hall after school.  They congregated quite a crowd.*

He (and quite a few others at this point) and I discuss concerts since they are at the age that I was when I started my mad concert-going years.  We talk about who is coming to our city and how I can’t go because I am all pregnant and tired and responsibly an adult now.  And then I hope they go so they can report back.

Today he asked me how the band Bush was when I saw them in concert.

In 1996.

Most kids in my first hour were only barely a year old when I was at that concert.  Bush with openers Goo Goo Dolls and No Doubt.  And yes, that was when the Gavin and Gwen romance began.  I went to the show on that fated tour.

At the end of the hour, he proceeded to play “Glycerine” for a group of students and I couldn’t help sing along as I entered in my attendance and other busy work things I have to do before the end of each hour.

That is when I realized the students were listening to something recorded before they were born.

I am almost 34 years old.

All these years I have been waiting to turn into an adult…waiting for that feeling of being a grown-up.

But I just feel like….me.

I am waiting to forget what it’s like to be a teenager…to lose my understanding of the angst of being 17.  The way it seemed to me that adults forgot their teenage years when I was 17.

But I don’t forget.

Each feeling from my childhood…of being scared or nervous or anxious…come back to me when I see Eddie.

Each confused and hurt and joyous experience from my teen years come back to me when I talk with students.

I can’t forget.

I married someone who was with me through my teenage years.  Who I grew up with.  Who I spent countless hours discussing bands and movies and life with.

I don’t feel like I have changed.

But I know I have.

I worry about budgets and cleaning.

I get excited about carpet being installed.

I have babies and degrees and a professional career.

I remember on my wedding day giggling with my best friend about how “grown up” getting married was and how I couldn’t believe I was actually going to do it.

I was 27.

The first time I became pregnant I was embarrassed to tell my dad because he would know what I did to get that way.

I was married and 28.

Today Cort told me that Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit was on a radio show we both listen to talking about how it has been 17 years since their first album dropped.

I remember it.

I was at their very first shows in tiny little po-dunk bars wondering who this crazy awesome band was that was covering George Michael’s “Faith”…in heavy metal.

I remember being pushed to the front and wondering…will this always be awesome?  When do adults suddenly look down on this and forbid it?

When will I be one of those parents who just don’t understand?**

This morning it hit me that I am an adult.

I know that seems weird, but I think today was the day that it finally hit.

I teach high school.

Every year the kids are 15-18 years old.

But I don’t stay the same age.

I am not 25 anymore like I was when I started.

I am not saying I feel 25 or 17 anymore.  Goodness no.

But I don’t feel like I have morphed into the way I always thought adulthood would be either.

Today I realized I am an adult.

Because of a 17 year old wandering minstrel.

People try to put us d-down
Just because we g-g-get around
Things they do look awful c-c-cold 
Yeah, I hope I die before I get old 

This is my generation
This is my generation, baby ***


*a million points to the reader who knows what song I lifted that line from.  And no, Cort, you cannot play.  I know you know.

**this line?  anyone?  Come on…it’s an easy one!

***If you don’t get this one we can’t be friends anymore.