‘¬†Mapping Out the Road to Adulthood

‘¬†Across Washington State, a familiar scene plays out in libraries each day after school in rural or urban branches alike. Teens stumble through the doors in a cluster of street noise and bravado, but a cloud hangs over them. Some of the cloud may be Axe Body Spray, but what permeates is the uncertainty. As adults, we expect so much, yet so little from teens. The world asks them to behave. And to participate. And to be quiet, speak up, work hard, worry less, relax, follow their dreams, get a real job and floss. Rarely do we show them how to accomplish these things.washington

The road to adulthood is a bumpy one, with potholes and flashfloods and lots of uncertainty. The vehicle to get there varies with each teen, with some still on training wheels and others needing a rev limiter. What remains constant is the need for a map. Somewhere within the library, wedged between biographies of presidents’ wives and costume encyclopedias and book groups lies that map.

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