Jim Burns recounts:

When I was a teenager, I definitely had a normal up and down relationship with my parents. Mom was a very nice woman. He has, unquestionably, more patience than anyone else I know. She raised four Burns boys, and my dad, and she still stayed healthy. Actually, she was pretty smart. I used to get her in trouble whenever I could and get away.

One of my favorite hobbies when I was in the seventh grade was that every time a grown man was outside watering his lawn and we were driving by in our car, I would roll down my window, whistle at him, and duck. Of course, this gave the impression that it was my mother who had whistled at him. How crazy she was!

Then one day in seventh grade, she cured my whistle for good. I was passionately and madly "in love" with Chris Morris. Chris was the most popular girl in seventh grade. She was a foot taller than me and unfortunately she hardly knew I existed. My mother and I were going to the store. I did my familiar whistle and duck routine. This time my mom calmly made a U-turn in the middle of the street, drove straight into the driveway of Chris Morris's house, and started honking her horn.

This was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life, when Chris and his mom looked out the window. My mother calmly asked me if I was ever going to whistle and crouch again. I begged him to turn around and promised never to do it again!

My dad was a real character. He loved practical jokes and got excited when I'm the one receiving them. Here's one of his best practical jokes. The first day of class I couldn't take my eyes off Cathy Boyd. She was beautiful and her beaming smile took my breath away (am I a romantic or what?). Despite not knowing her, I promised myself to ask her out on a date. In fact, I remember saying the following to two of my friends that I had met earlier that day:

Do you see that girl there? ”(I pointed at Cathy).
"Yes, it's pretty," they replied.
"Well, I'm going to ask you on a date."

They looked at her in all her beauty and looked at me and laughed.

To make a long story short, Cathy and I became good friends. We weren't dating (it was her choice, not mine), but I believed that one day we would be. I told mom and dad that I thought I had found the girl I would marry. My dad asked me if I had ever dated her before, and I replied, "No." He laughed.

Anyway, the big day arrived when I was going to take home to introduce her to my parents. Now remember we weren't dating. In Cathy's words, we were "just friends." I asked Mom to make a special dinner, I borrowed the china from my Aunt Mariana, and it really created a memorable atmosphere. I asked my father to show his best behavior, and begged him not to start with his practical jokes.

When Cathy and I arrived for dinner, the table was set. Honestly, our home has never looked so nice. I don't know if Cathy noticed, but my mom and dad were a little nervous. They were both almost too attentive to Cathy.

We sat down to dinner. My dad was to my left, Cathy to my right, and Mom in front of me. Mom asked me to pray. I closed my eyes and prayed. This was a great time in my life, having Cathy sit at our family table. After completing my sentence I took a deep gulp from my glass of milk in front of my plate.

However, very quickly after putting the milk in my mouth, my throat informed me that it was not normal milk but butter milk. I hate buttermilk. While we had been praying, my father had exchanged his buttermilk for my normal milk. I looked out of the side of his eye and could see that he was laughing, while Mom and Cathy were oblivious to my problem.

With my mind raging, I thought about getting up from the table and running to the bathroom. But the only choice he had was to be brave and swallow it. I tried. The buttermilk found its way down my throat to my stomach. My stomach flatly didn't want to accept it. My stomach and esophagus had a short dispute and the next thing I was aware of was that I spit all the milk all over the tablecloth, food and everyone's plates!

My dad laughed, and my mom got mad at my dad. Cathy said "how rude" and I wanted to crawl into a cave and die. I mean, dying after strangling my father. Despite this experience, Cathy married me anyway and never served buttermilk at home!

Jim Burns
Surviving Adolescence.

We all have stories to remember and tell about our parents, during adolescence. And many times it is very difficult for us to understand them. But, despite that, you need to know that your parents are not perfect, that they are learning to be parents, during the course of your life.

It is for this same reason that we will focus on understanding our parents first, in order to achieve a good relationship with them.

More than being ashamed of mom and dad, thank God for their lives, and for what they do for us. So we'll see you in a second installment.


Andrea Carrillo placeholder image

I recommend you Jim Burns' book, Surviving Adolescence, by Editorial UNILIT. It is a special book for you young, during your teenage years.