Friday, April 04, 2008

If age but could and youth but would

This morning, in an attempt to impart to my youngest a few tips about comprehension that might prove useful in her upcoming GCSEs, I suggested that we go for a walk. She arrived at the front door in sandals and bare feet. Between both parents it was suggested on no less than six separate occasions that such footwear might lead to pain. This was batted back with everything ranging from a mild "I'm fine" to an indignant "Do you think I'm stupid?"
As I've observed before, we nag kids because we know it doesn't work. Halfway through the walk she had to sit down on a park bench such was the pain. When she got home she spent half an hour with her feet soaking in the bath. When I left this afternoon she was lying face down on the bed having extensive surgery on her blisters. By now she will have worked up to the need for a pair of brand new surgical shoes.
Age is about the steadily-dawning anticipation of consequences. Being 15 is about not daring to think of those consequences in case they stand in the way of one's immediate desire.


  1. Oh the pain one is prepared to go through as a teenager. I still bear scars from such behaviour. And teenagers never wear coats in cold weather either. I did that too.

  2. My daughter's two years younger, and this sounds very familiar. One of the most difficult things about parenthood, I find, is letting your children make mistakes even when a far more sensible option is staring them in the face. As Brian Wilson said, "I know there's an answer/but I had to find it by myself"...

  3. I'm assuming these were flimsy "fashion sandals" rather than sturdy walking ones for outdoorsy types.
    Either that or you went for an improving long march over craggy terrain.

    I hope she at least gained some useful comprehension out of the exercise.
    I enjoy your musings on teenager raising. Perhaps there's a book opportunity here - a parent's perspective on the Boo F***ing Hoo phenomenon.

  4. Anonymous6:30 pm

    great story!
    love Imogen