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I am a proud member of the Secret Society of the Cadbury Egg. Actually, along with my two daughters, I am a founding member of the club. Over the years, the purpose of our group has gone from the ridiculous to the sublime. We started out getting together to giggle, gossip, and eat candy. But after the next generation started to come along, we realized that under the guise of eating candy we could do more serious work:
- We could provide the little girls a safe place to talk.
- We could actively promote the idea that if one of the girls had a problem she could not talk to her mom about, she could talk to her aunt or her Marmel (my grandma name) or to a cousin or a sibling.
Of course, as the laws of statistics would suggest, before too long we started to have little boys arrive in the family and for a while our group was defunct because we didn’t know how to factor them in. Sorry for stereotyping, but we didn’t think the boys could handle the cheer and dance that was part of our ceremony.
Fortunately, I had an experience that made me realize the importance of figuring this out. I attended a function with my friend and her teenage daughter. None of my grandkids are teenagers yet, so I had forgotten what the teen years are like. Suffice it to say that if there was an eye rolling competition in the winter Olympics, my friend’s daughter would be a gold medalist. A loudspeaker virtually blared in my head: teenagers need other-significant-others in their lives for that time when they are DONE with their parents!
Long ago a school psychologist explained things this way:
- Imagine buying a rare Grecian urn and putting it up on a pedestal in your home…
- Image installing an intricate lighting system to better illuminate this amazing work of art…
- Imagine years later realizing that the urn has had a crack all along that you never noticed…
- Imagine quickly dismantling the pedestal and the lighting and rapidly hiding away the offending object!
This is the shift that occurs when kids become teens and go from adoring their parents to being embarrassed that they had anything to do with them in the first place. When this time comes for my grandkids, as indeed it must in human development, won’t it be wonderful to have other-significant-others lined up for the kids to turn to?
Clearly it is time to reinstitute the Secret Society of the Cadbury Egg.
My daughters and I realize we need to get my son and sons-in-law involved in the club because a trusted male perspective will definitely be needed by our beloved soon-to-be teenagers. But since these men are not as enthralled with eating candy as we are, how will we entice them? Perhaps allowing them to dream up a secret handshake or an intricate high-five maneuver will do the trick. Or perhaps we just count on them to be the very fine dads that they are, guys willing to do whatever it takes to help assure their children’s wellbeing.
It is said that the way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. With the help of the Secret Society of the Cadbury Egg, I hope to give my grandkids an entire chorus.