Teenagers. What are they good for?

Recently, our daughter (Chalky, we’ll call her) turned 15. Some of you may remember a day not too long ago when I pulled her out of school to go to the movies (you can read about it here if you like).

Unbeknownst to us, her friend (lets call her Jeff – don’t worry, it’s an in joke) seized the opportunity while my daughter was absent to put into action a plan for her birthday present.

Chalky and I have a desire and some yet to be confirmed plans to go on a trip next year with Destiny Rescue to Thailand to spend some time helping out in orphanages etc etc.

Chalky does not have a part time job, and as we have said she needs to fund herself for the trip, she has been industriously making and selling jewellery to friends at school and youth group, in between Grade 10 exams, piano lessons and exams, dancing, and her photography hobby.

Fast forward to a Friday night just before youth group, the day before her birthday. Chalky was greeted by Jeff who handed her a box with these instructions “Open this, read the letter inside and then give the box to your Dad to take home.”

This is what the letter said:

When the time came to think about what I should get you for your birthday, I sat and thought for a long time.

But then it hit me.

Sure, jewellery, clothes and other things are nice but I wondered what you really wanted.

So, remember that day your mum took you out of school to go see The Vow? Well, that lunch, I went down to the library, used up about $1.50 of my printing money, and gave everyone in our grade a flyer.

This is what the flyer said:

Get Chalky to Thailand!

Chalky has recently been trying to raise funds in order for her to go to Thailand with her mother next year. Her birthday is coming up, so I was thinking about having a secret fundraiser.

So please, as a fifteenth birthday present, let’s help Chalky help others! If everyone could please bring any small change that they have in the coming weeks, it would be much appreciated!

Remember, Chalky must not know!

In the box, along with that letter and the flyer was $420.70, the end total from approximately fourteen of her friends.

Now. You tell me whether teenagers are good for anything?

11 thoughts on “Teenagers. What are they good for?

  1. Wow! What a great story. I love hearing teenager stories like this! I do realize that not all teenagers are the surly, disrespectful kids like I’m used to. Stories like this one renew my faith!


    • Mine too, Karen. It’s easy to be persuaded otherwise by the media and even the small minority we come across in the streets. Our thoughts have always been that if you expect your teenagers to be ‘typical’ then they will be, but if you expect them to behave like normal, pleasant, outward thinking people, then there’s a good chance that they will. I think so much of how teenagers behave is because parents don’t expect anything different and so stop disciplining, guiding and correcting them. There is a lot of typical teenage behaviour that my husband and I just simply would not allow. Teenagers are great, given half a chance 🙂


  2. My oldest is approaching her teen years, only one year and 25 days to go…but who’s counting? I hope I’ve done well by her and I see that same amazing heart in her that the teens in this story have. It’s good to know empathy and friendship are traits still being passed down from generation to generation. You’ve done well and as a mom I know how much you’ve invested yourself in her. Kudos. And thanks for sharing this great story. 🙂


    • The teenage years don’t have to be the scary, trouble filled years we are told they are. I think half the problem is when we start treating them differently and stop expecting all the courtesies that we expect when they are younger – I rave on more about this in my comment to Karen 🙂
      You’ll do great, Tonia. You’re a wonderful mum and that goes a long way!


  3. Yay! It’s wonderful to know that teens are indeed not the wastelands I constantly hear about. My neice is about the same age as Chalky, and I gotta tell you, the stories my brother-in-law tell me about her shenanigans scare me to death. I will keep this story as a reminder that good can be done by teens! 🙂


  4. Pingback: 2013, here I come! | Personally Speaking

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