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A Christmas Story: A Teenager Reflects On Different Traditions In His Family

Tyrese Jones
Basim Blunt
Tyrese Jones

For many teenagers, the holiday season means two different kinds of celebrations, one with each parent.  In today’s Dayton Youth Radio story, Ponitz Career Technology Center student Tyrese Jones tells us about the different ways he spends his weekends with his mom and his dad. 

My name is Tyrese Jones. I am 18 years old, and I’ll be  graduating in 2019. I live with my mom during the week and go to my dad’s house some weekends.

At my mom’s house, there are pictures of our family. We took a picture with the whole family at my grandparents’ anniversary. My mom and I eat together every night, and sometimes we watch tv together. Family is very important to my mom, and it’s a tradition to go to church every Sunday.

My mom says she likes to go to church, "Cause it’s fun. I love God. I've been going to church ever since I was little, and I just love praising and worship with the Lord. I’m just thankful for everything, and God is good all the time, and all the time he is good."

We go to Tabernacle Baptist Church. Tabernacle is one of the oldest churches in Dayton, Ohio because it was an underground railroad, a safe place for runaway slaves.

I go to church with my mom Terri, Grandma Peggy, Aunt Crystal, Cousin Latoya and my Cousin Jermaine. We ride the church bus because none of us drive. I have to wake up at 6:30, go to Sunday School and Junior Church. Mygrandma gives us mints so we don't fall asleep, but my cousin Jermaine always nods off.

After church my mom starts to cook Sunday dinner. We sit together at the table, and we pray. That’s a tradition that we do at my moms house.

"I grew up eating Sunday dinner," says my mom. "I just love getting in the kitchen. I’m a chef, and I just love to get in there and cook. I was raised to always cook on Sundays, a big dinner or sometime a small dinner. I love to go in there on Sunday mornings, go to church on Sundays and then come home and cook, and just eat and be blessed for what you got. Our family sitting around is just wonderful."

When I was eight years old, I got baptized. My mom asked me if I wanted to get baptized, and I said yes.

My dad’s name is Mike Jones. He works at a factory. My dad lives in a one room apartment. The living room, kitchen, and bed are all in one room. When you walk in, the first thing you’ll see is a big TV.

I like being at my dad’s. My dad doesn’t go to to church. He sleeps until noon because he’s tired from getting up early all week long. My dad is fun, nice, and likes spending time with us.

It’s kind of  funny that my dad drives but doesn’t go to church, but my mom goes to church and doesn’t drive.

It doesn’t matter to me that my dad doesn’t go to church. At my dad’s house we don’t pray before we eat, and  we don’t talk about God like that. He always tells me that he believe in God, but he just don’t show it sometimes. The reason why I want my Dad to be saved is because, I know where I’m going and I trust and believe in God so I know that one day I will make it to heaven but I want my Dad to make it to heaven too.

I love both of my parents the same. It doesn’t matter if I’m with my mom or my dad. On the surface it looks like these Sundays are very different, but when I think about it, these Sundays are both about family. 

Tyrese Jones is a senior at Ponitz CTC High School. Special Thanks to Ponitz Radio media arts instructors Joanne Viskup and Jeffrey Crowell and to Katie Davis. Learn more at the school's website: http://ponitzctc.org. Dayton Youth Radio is supported by the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council