Thursday, 17 November 2011

Truth Stranger Than Fiction

I've been tempted to send this story to the local newspapers, but I fear they won't be interested. They seem to prefer sensational pieces like muggings, car accidents, and smashed windows, or yawn-worthy local news, such as neighborhood building projects and where the site will be for the new school and public amenity. But as far as I'm concerned, this is pretty earth-shattering and I have to share it somewhere.


A local teenager was recently accompanied by her middle-aged mother to school. It should be pointed out that this teenager was not injured, ill, socially awkward, or otherwise incapacitated, yet she held her mother's hand. When passing friends on the street, the teenager greeted them cheerfully, but did not pull away, enjoin her mother to release her hand, or otherwise attempt to distance herself. Moreover, when the pair reached the school gate, the teenager requested a kiss, although in full view of classmates. Her mother, it should be pointed out, was dressed in track suit trousers, an oversize men's fleece, stained raincoat, fuzzy socks, and muddy boots. Her hair was messy and her face was free of make up.

After being treated for mild shock at a local cafe, she was able to walk back home.


Ruth Kelly said...

Great story. Our children continue to surprise us.

Kim Ayres said...

Frankly I struggle to believe a word of it. Are you sure you weren't dreaming?

Mike L said...

WOW! You sure are doing something right.


Mike L

Kit said...

Cool teenager, cool mom, despite the track suit pants!

Jaye Robin Brown said...

I'm convinced teenagers are constantly bouncing between 6 and 26 - I think she must have been on a 6 day! Great story.

Carole said...

Is the teenager from another planet? Is the mother invisible? Please give us more details on this incredible story.

Charles Gramlich said...

Wow, you really can write fiction. ;)

Vijaya said...

Nice going, Mary. You should send it in to the op-ed piece. But why were you treated for shock?

Kids made fun of my son at the bus stop when he was in kindergarten (granted he looked like he was 8 when he was 5) so I had to quit giving him a kiss in public. Scarred for life. Now when we're out and about, he walks a few paces behind or ahead, as though he has no parents or family.

Mary Witzl said...

Ruth -- My daughter certainly surprised me. I kept waiting for her to mention something she wanted for Christmas, but it never happened.

Kim -- I swear it happened! Maybe next time we're over to see you again she'll give you a demonstration.

Mike -- I don't think it was anything to do with me, but I was thrilled all the same.

Kit -- Thank you, but the only part of me that was cool was my hands, which were freezing. I wouldn't have wanted to be caught dead with me.

Jaye -- It was utterly freakish, but I went right along with it. No telling what age she'll be in another month or two.

Carole -- The teenager is definitely from Planet Earth and although the mother probably should have been invisible, she wasn't. So the whole thing was utterly Twilight Zone, but I'm still glad it happened.

Charles -- If it hadn't happened to me, I wouldn't have believed it either.

Vijaya -- I was self treated, with a strong cup of coffee, which did the trick. But I shook my head in amazement all the way home.

When my daughters were little, they frequently gave me instructions on how not to speak to them in English, not to laugh, smile, hug them, or -- God forbid! -- kiss them. So this was a very welcome change. Maybe one day your son will reach for your hand. Fingers crossed!

Carrie S said...

I'm all choked up. Yesterday, as I was walking to meet my 11-year-old after school to take him to taekwon-do class, he texted and said he wasn't feeling well. When we met we walked back home instead, and he took my hand briefly. It was fleeting, and every time it happens I wonder if it will be the last time.

Dale said...


Lynne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynne said...

I love your daughter!

my oldest daughter at 21 will still hold my hand and kiss me because she know what can happen when there are no more kisses, hugs and hand holding to have. <3

debra said...

Amazing. Once? or more? My youngest will be 20 next month. As she says, "No more teen aged angst."

Anonymous said...

See? It does get better when they get older. (Although I don't know how you dare go out looking like that; every time I try it, I run into someone I know who's all spiffed up in businesswear!)

Bish Denham said...

LOVE IT! I too had no problem being seen with either of my parents. What a precious gift to you. One she probably isn't even aware of.

Adrienne said...

Ah, wonders never cease. With two teens at home, that story gives me hope :)

Pat said...

Treasure it!

Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane said...

I am soooo impressed by your daughter, and I think you should write it up for the local paper!

Your daughter has great self-confidence and guts to face her friends after that show!

Mary Witzl said...

Carrie -- It chokes me up too! Some of my (teenage) Turkish students still happily held their mothers' hands. Maybe the practice rubbed off on my daughter. Whatever the case, Turkey's a great place to take teenagers.

Dale -- It sounds a little far-fetched, doesn't it? But it happened, I swear!

Lynne -- Good for your daughter too -- maybe this is the start of a trend? It's good to have kids who are aware of how precious time is -- and that a limited supply of time with our loved ones isn't guaranteed.

Debra -- Here's to an end of teenage angst, a little of which goes a VERY long way. I can't remember having much of it, but I suspect I made up for it in my early 20s.

AnneB -- I've got a well-established reputation in this town as a sloppy, careless dresser, so don't need to worry so much about running into elegantly dressed folks. There's also a certain frisson involved in getting away with it (though like you, I usually get caught). But you're right: parenting gets easier as kids get older, and thank God for that.

Bish -- Good for you. I held my mother's hand too, but I was a nerd. My daughter is more of a closet nerd, so I'm amazed she still holds my hand. And you're right: it's a real gift.

Adrienne -- Don't think she hasn't been a real pill at times, but I'm still thrilled with my daughter. But there is always hope, even with teenagers.

Pat -- Thank you, I certainly will. Even as I do her mountain-high piles of laundry.

Miss Footloose -- I sent the newspaper a story about my first successful parallel parking attempt, but they didn't print it. If something that earthshaking didn't grab their attention, I'm not sure this will. :)

Marcia said...

kids do the sweetest things!

My son (he's married) still calls me Mommy sometimes, and I can't say that any of our kids acted embarrassed to be with us in public. Really, I was probably a worse kid to my own parents in that way than ours ever were to us.