Friday, 25 January 2013

learning curve

Today as I sat and read Soulemama and her post concerning the stumbling journey of parenting her first born I thought back to words I had written in the autumn but never actually got around to sharing ...

I'm finding there's lots to learn about parenting a 16 year old who has just started sixth form college.

An undisclosed number of years ago when I was 16, there had to be a certain permanence to arrangements.  Without mobile phones it was difficult getting in touch with large groups of people to arrange and then re-arrange plans. Not anymore. I never quite know with any certainty when Folly 1 will be home.  As we get in the car to drop Folly 1 at her meeting point I never quite know exactly where I am taking her. No worries when there's just yourself to think about but as I'm co-ordinating activities for 3 other Follies as well I'm finding all this flexibility rather difficult.

In order to circumvent the problems of providing a proof of age the 16 year olds today seem to have parties. There seem to be a steady supply of teenagers with available barns or sheds who host these parties (or gatherings as they euphemistically have become known). This then leads to the conundrum of drinks to take to these gathering and so it goes on ...

We have had a sudden re-analysis of our boundaries here at the Follies and also the reasons for these boundaries.  

We have also come to realise that by the age of 16 our job is almost done.  Folly 1 is Folly 1 with all her lovable and not quite so lovable idiosyncrasies.  

We love her and will always do what we can to support her when she wants our help, but realise that our way may not be her way.  So now we must try to advise only when asked, recognise that her choices though different from our own are still viable and allow her to make and learn from her own mistakes.  

Oh, but it's hard and toddler temper tantrums seem so much more manageable!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

the next generation

last weekend we had a family get-together as we all gathered in the charmingly named village of Giggleswick to celebrate a Folly cousin's wedding.

Many years ago I attended family weddings and it was those of the generation of my parents. More recently things moved on to my own generation of the family and my friends. This weekends wedding was the first that I have attended of the next generation.  The whole weekend seemed to go smoothly from our point of view. My sister-in-law and niece clearly put a lot of thought into their organisation. 

The wedding became not just part of the social scene but a time to reconnect with those family members we rarely see. 

The young Follies got to know more about their aunts and uncles and learn the family stories that always pop up at such events. They made new friends as they met cousins of cousins for the first time.  

Parents felt a sense of freedom as they knew there was always someone around to look out for the children. 

Equally the youngsters felt a blurring of rules as they roamed with confidence around the hotel or accompanied grandparents and other relatives at their tables.

A weekend was a perfect amount of time - hopefully the uncle and aunt hosting the six of us did not feel too overwhelmed and there was no time for anyone to get bored. 

A big thank you for inviting us all to share the day.  We all returned home with a warm glow which will be rekindled whenever we look at the photographs, I am sure.

Thursday, 3 January 2013


We don't go all out with resolutions here at the Follies.  Perhaps it is that we are all so bad at keeping them that generally we don't want to bother.

Personally, I quite like the idea of resolutions. It's that same feeling as going back to school in September when you anticipate that need for new stationary products to make you ultra efficient.  That never works either, but it's a great feeling.

So this is what we've cobbled together for 2013:

  • Mr Folly is aiming to get back on track with the walking and healthy eating. 
  • I am cutting out buying magazines (but may possibly introduce more visits to dentist or doctor to catch up with my reading) and trying to become more organised with the use of lists.  This includes trying to organise my blog posts into a little more regularity.
  • Folly 1 aims to spend more time with the family. (Based on the persuading needed to get her home for roast dinner tonight I think this could have limited success.)
  • Folly 2 won't say.
  • Folly 3 isn't going to bother.
  • Folly 4 wants to try harder and not give up if she isn't successful first time around.

I think perhaps we could all do with working on this last one ...  

... even the dog!