Friday, April 27, 2012

The List of Demands

My (almost) 14 year old son is not happy about our upcoming move to China. In fact I would say he is very upset. He has been saying, "I'm not going! I am staying here!" At one point he even threatened that he would do something to get caught by security so that he wouldn't have to go. He said, "You don't know, I'm creative, I can keep us from going." I know it's hard for him to leave his friends, and the home he has lived in all his life. But I also know that this could be a great adventure for him. Part of the angst that he feels comes from a feeling of not having any control over the matter. So the other day he came to us and told us that if he had to go to China against his will, then he had a list of demands.

I won't list here everything that he demanded, but his list didn't bother me too much because there were only a few things on it, and nothing too unreasonable. But the one demand I wanted to tell you about is one that required that he be able to attend some concerts here in the Bay area.

My daughter introduced this son to some "Indie" bands. They are independent musicians that don't record on a record label. One of the Indie muscians he has listened to is Ty Segall. He did an internet search of this artist and saw that he was performing a free outdoor concert at UC Berkeley tonight. We decided that if this would make him more compliant with our move to China, then we would happily take him to this concert. I listened to some of the music, and felt it was pretty tame, and would be okay.

He has a friend who also listens to this artist's music, so invited him to come. After checking out the venue, we dropped them off, and let them stay for the one hour concert while we got something to eat nearby. He and his friend did enjoy the music, and stood up close. In fact, they were so close that when some guy jumped on the stage so he could do some "crowd surfing", the guy accidentally kneed my son in the eye. My son didn't seem too upset, but he might wake up with a black eye tomorrow. But I think that just added to the adventure he and his friend were having.

As the concert ended, my husband and I walked over to meet up with my son. We asked how the concert was, and they both said it was good. We told them we would need to walk back to the car. My son turned around, and walked over to a crowd of people. Because I had watched some of the music videos on the internet, I recognized the person he was talking to as Ty Segall. After he talked with him for a moment, he came back and we all walked back to the car. I was curious, so asked him what he said to the guy. He told him that he likes his music, and that he listens to it all the time. I just thought that was pretty cute. :)

I couldn't help but think that this is something my son will remember for a long time. And better yet, he was very impressed by the UC Berkeley campus, and made a comment about wanting to come back to go to school there. We encouraged him and told him he could if he worked hard enough in High school. That alone made it worth going to the concert!

We are still working on the list of demands. I am glad that we have come to an understanding, and that we have been able to negotiate. And I'm glad I could make some of his teenage dreams come true.


padmum said...

Off to China? Wow! Do drop by in Chennai on the way can stay with us.

Yes! Meeting somebody special can be a lifelong memory. I have had many such opps--music, movies, political personalities, Page 3...the list is endless.

Lovely blog and happy and safe landings!

Grannymar said...

When we were young and wanted to go some place that my parents were not sure about, daddy would ask "Can I come too?", the look on our faces usually gave him the answer he needed without confrontation. I quickly learned to say "Right so, get your coat!"

China is a long way from friends and familiarity at the tender age of 14. There are so many changes going on inside the body besides those obvious ones with travelling half way round the world.

I hope you manage to glide through the list with ease.

Looney said...

Sounds like a lot of fun for the family. Will he go to an international school or a Chinese one?

Now a really clever thing to do is to apply to UC Berkeley as an out-of-state foreigner (thus increasing chances of admittance), and then change to in-state for purposes of paying tuition.

Ursula said...

Having had a nomadic upbringing myself, I'd feel home on the moon. Yet, China? Why? But then, considering your son makes "demands" he may well fit in with what the Chinese call "Little Emperors".

As to the concert, your son being chaperoned: Please don't tell me you are one of those parents who "befriend" their children on facebook. Invasion of privacy in my book.


Nene said...

Maybe he'll change his mind a bit after your family vacation there? Are you still doing that?

Rummuser said...

There is nothing like a bit of a give and a bit of a take in negotiating demands from teenage scions and workers unions. I should know as I have handled both and suddenly I am nostalgic for Ranjan's teenage years.

Max Coutinho said...


You are off to China? Good for you.
I wish you and your family all the best :D.

I hope you keep blogging though.


~Kris said...

I will send you money if you send me something Chinese. ;)
He might not like it at 14 but eventually he will be glad for the culture experience. How long are you going for?

Maxi said...

You and your wife handled your son's teenage angst brilliantly.

China is so far, it's probably fear of the unknown that upsets your son most.

Good luck on your new adventure.

Blessings - Maxi