Sunday, April 19


So last night we were watching the movie LARS AND THE REAL GIRL. For those who don't know, it's about an odd and lonely 27-year-old Minnesotan who sends away for a blowup doll for companionship. (Don't worry, it's a wonderful film, rated PG-13, and not at all kinky; I'm fairly certain all Lars and Bianca do is kiss.) Anyway, it's interesting to think what Lars invests his dream girl with until the real thing comes along. Bianca is attractive - she bears a striking resemblance to Angelina Jolie. She's also reserved - not a big talker, although Lars seems to communicate with her just fine. Bianca doesn't appear to believe in sex before marriage and she eventually becomes a very popular churchgoer. She also makes a terrific part-time mannequin.

All this got me to thinking about my own girl, my nine-year-old daughter Jackie. Before I blink too many more times, she'll be a teenager. She's a terrific girl in every way, always have been, but I'm naturally starting to think of what kind of teenager she'll be and what qualities I hope she'll have.

So that's our task here on TFC today. If we could build a perfect teenager, giving her gifts that are either emotional or intellectual or spiritual or even physical, what would those gifts be?


Here's the gift I'm giving her: resilience.

By the way, before we close, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that The Sisters 8, Book 4: Jackie's Jokes goes on sale tomorrow. It's part of the series of books for young readers ages 6-10 that I created with my husband Greg Logsted and our resilient Jackie.

Be well. Don't forget to write.


Anna said...

Great gift resilience.
My daughter is 8, turns 9 in July and I'm trembling when she enters teenhood but, like you, I'd like to give her apart from resilience, which is a great choice, the courage to speak for those who can't, to be brave and not let anyone tell her what she doesn't want (other than family and good willed adults of course).
So difficult to be a teen these days. I hope they don't suffer much.
Thanks for the blog, discovered it yesterday and it's amazing!

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Anna, what a great gift to offer! Oh, and we're glad you discovered us, because now we get to discover you too!

A Paperback Writer said...

,I'd like to offer her the ability to like herself.
This gift will allow her to be free of being so desperate for acceptance that she chooses poor friends (such as gangs or druggies) or abusive romantic partners. It will also allow her to stay free of anorexia, bulemia, and unnecessary plastic surgery.
All of this will help her to be a happier person.

sigh. I wish I could wave my magic wand over all my female students and give them this.

Alyson Noel said...

I LOVED Lars & the Real Girl-- It's one of my favorite movies--and congrats on the SISTERS 8 release!!

For my imaginary daughter, I would hope she'd be chockfull of compassion -- both for herself and others!

Great post, Lauren!

Mari said...

Confidence and a healthy dose of self esteem!

scott neumyer said...

Since my first daughter is about 3 months old right now, I'm hoping that her superpower will be about 30 years of chastity. hehe :)

Wendy Toliver said...

congrat's on Jackie's Jokes! How fun!

I think that in light of some things some of my friends who have teenagers are going thru w/ theirs ... I'd like to offer my future teens the gift of HONESTY. I hope they feel like they can tell me anything and I'd still love them unconditionally.

Great post, Lauren! It really gets me thinking and I'm enjoying reading the responses.

Erica Orloff said...

Unwavering belief in self.

I have an adult daughter, an almost 14-year-old son (who remains a REALLY NICE guy--YAY!), an 11-year-old daughter, and Demon Baby (age 4, currently into bringing earthworms into the house and leaving them in my wine glasses). The adolescent years are so filled with angst and self-discovery. I would just want the ideal teen to know she is PERFECT just the way she is.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Let's see...

So far we've got resilience, courage to stand up for others, being brave in not letting others make decisions for oneself, freedom from desperation for acceptance, compassion for self and others, confidence and self-esteem, 30 years of chastity (but maybe we'll save that one just for Scott's daughter), honesty, and self-acceptance (but maybe keep those earthworms out of my wineglass).

Y'all are great! Keep 'em coming!

Melissa Walker said...

Big Dreams! With all those other great qualities, she'll be able to fulfill them all.

Congrats on the S8 Book 4 release! I'll run out and get it for niece Barbara, who's still chomping at the bit for more Eights! (As she turns 9 this month...)

Gerb said...


I have two teen daughters and I want for them to have the intellectual ability to pursue and be successful at *anything* they set their mind to - and the wisdom to know how to use those smarts to make a difference in the world.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

ks, Melissa and Gerb!

cynjay said...

I LOVED Lars - I had really low expectations of the movie, but it was great.

I'm going to have teenage boys, which is a whole 'nother post, but I would give my teenage girl confidence to put herself first (I guess that's what I would call it). When I think about what I did and how I acted to get boys to like me at that age, I still cringe.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Thanks, Cynjay! And having never had boys, I'd be curious about that whole other post.

Kay Cassidy said...

Brilliant post, Lauren!

I'd give her the vision to see beyond herself and recognize how she can make a difference in her world. Big or small, to one person or a million... it's up to her. Just using her unique gifts to make her world a better place in a way that truly matters to her.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Good one, Kay! And glad to have you onboard TFC!