When I was in Ireland, I hung out with more kids than I usually do. I went from a world of adults and dogs in LA to my significant other’s sixteen nieces and nephews. It was like Eight Is Enough doubled. Now, let me just say that I enjoy reading about kids on the babyrobot, but real live kids are a bit foreign to me. They don’t drink cocktails.
The kids ranged in age from toddlers and little kids all the way up to teenagers. There was also one lone twenty-one year old, but she didn’t drink cocktails (at least not in the presence of older adults).
The little kids were mostly uninteresting to me. They seemed to just run around, make a lot of noise, and sneeze all over me. They watched cartoons and played video games and coughed out into the air. They reminded me of a pack of dogs only without the teeth.
I did have some amusing interactions, but I can’t talk about any one kid specifically because I don’t want to seem to favor one niece/nephew over another. The parents would spend the next six months talking about how Sunshine Jen did or didn’t blog about their kid and never want to drink cocktails with me again. So I apologize to the readership for the lack of specificity for reasons of diplomacy and world peace.
As the pack of younguns caused havoc and apocalyptic chaos, I sought calm in a quieter room with the teenagers. Apparently, they needed a space to feel alienated in. Since I was both a foreigner by country and an urbanite in a small town, I understood some of this alienation. Since I lived in Los Angeles, I guess I was intriguing to them. Our conversations were like interviews going both ways. They asked questions. I answered them. I asked questions. They answered them.
In the course of our conversing, I discovered the Irish teenage grand. They say grand like Americans say yeah. It’s a little like whatever but lazier, more one-syllable, less neg. It’s the word for when you need a single word to just say in response. Grand. Don’t even pronounce the D, just let roll out of the mouth, gran. I like that such a large, superlative word could be transformed into something so casual by Ipod wearing teens. I wonder what that generation could do with other words like peace and God.