Anyone with teenagers has done it. You've dropped your kids at the doors of a mall and said "I'll pick you up here at such and such a time." With that they are engulfed by the double doors as you whisper a prayer that they won't get arrested, molested, or kidnapped!
Well, one weekend I had the opportunity to find out what teenagers really do at the mall all day without their parents. I discovered several things.
-they chew a lot of gum, eat a lot of beef jerky, and overload on caffeine at Starbucks.
-they play tag on the escalators until the security guard kicks them off.
-they call their parents from every store to inform them of what's in stock, what's on sale and what's not in their wallet.
-they talk to every stranger that is brave enough to stop and talk to them
-they make purchases, and when they find something else they want more, they return the iitem they just bought and purchase it.
-they generally walk around like a herd of cattle looking for a good grazing spot
-they decide what stores to go into by bumping into one another like electric bumper cars at the amusement park. If you bump someone hard enough to knock them into a store, they will all eventually wander in.
-they laugh about everything, whether it's funny or not
-they revert back in age about 2-3 years for half the time, and act way beyond their years the rest of the time.
-they drain their pockets and their friend's pockets until none of them have two coins that they could rub together
-they take those footies provided by shoe stores and wear them on their heads as hats, or over their shoes as impromtu heelies so that they can skate through the mall.
-But the biggest thing that they do is, they have tons and tons of fun!
Of course, not all teenagers would do these things, but this is what the coolest teens in the country are doing! Considering I would rather have an internal exam than shop from 10am-6pm, especially with 11 hormonal teenagers, I really had a good time and I learned a lot, and maybe in some small way, I was able to revert back in time a bit and be young again--it's good for the soul! Of course, later that evening reality set in--it's bad for the feet!
It was a good experience for me though. I will worry less the next time I drop my kids at the mall, and I can look at them and honestly say, "Have fun", because I know that they will, without breaking every rule they have learned up until now-- except maybe the no running or riding the escalators one!