Back to School

Summer holidays are finally over and its back to school and normality after weeks of desperately trying to entertain a mid-teen girl. The vacation went without a hitch, mercifully. Cycle rides, eating out and some site-seeing. The only gripe would be my daughter’s reluctance to go swimming. This is an oddity and has only come about in recent months if not a year.Not only does she refuse to go swimming, she refuses to sunbathe. It wasn’t that long ago when I used to take my daughter to the local leisure centre every Sunday for at least an hour’s swim, now, she is adamant that she does not like the water…

I think I know what is going on; I believe this is the age of the body concious and stripping off into a swimsuit never mind a bikini, is an absolute no-no. However, my partner and I did manage to persuade her to have at least one swim after threatening her: its either go and ask for a beer for me or go for a swim with my long-suffering partner. Curiously, she would rather go for a swim than engage with a stranger behind a bar in asking and paying for a drink for her father? There’s shyness and then there’s shyness.

The other notable discovery is my daughter’s perception of fairness and doing the right thing. Now, this is another aspect of my daughter’s psyche which I am having trouble comprehending and it manifests itself in many ways but usually when it involves being out in public.

For instance; an open air concert in a piazza. A large crowd has gathered and we three decide or at least two of us decide, that we should try and get into a more central position. My daughter however, has other ideas, insisting it would not be fair to barge our way through the crowd thus obstructing someone else’s view. She does become stubborn in this belief of fairness. If she believes – incorrectly – that we have queue-jumped, she will deliberately hang back thus forcing us to wait with her.

Whilst her attitude is laudable, I fear she is going to have a rude if not severe awakening and that the world is not as harmonious as she perceives it to be. Moreover, I fear she will be taken advantage of if she does not become more assertive. But these are in reality qualities that I can only admire… What a child.

Back home, my daughter resigned herself to spending the remaining week at home in her room catching up on her manga, blogs and podcasts, with the exception of one afternoon when her mother, to my utter amazement, took her out to some museum. That has to be a first in many a year. In fact, I cannot actually remember the last time they went out together; years maybe?

Upon returning to school for her last year – where have the past ten years gone – my daughter received her exam results; straight As in Biology, Physics, Chemistry and English Language with one B for one paper on Romeo and Juliet, she wasn’t happy. I however, as one might expect, was extremely proud.

The fun soon starts as we have her 16th birthday coming up and also to decide what subjects she wishes to study for her A-levels. I am sure however she will do herself and me proud whatever she decides to do.

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