Family Life Personal

Parenting is no walk in the languid park

Why does each generation contrive to make these fleeting moments of gilded youth so perplexing?

The enduring sunny spell has long been broken out here in coastal north Dublin but those brief treasured moments of languid incandescence keep on coming.

Just now the town park is breathing in and out in the early afternoon radiance … leaves are rustling, branches are quivering and songbirds shriek and trill.

Far away bodies and buggies appear to be swished by the swaying boughs, as they appear and disappear from view.

Not all is languorous: a quick-step junkie in navy Adidas tracksuit with blood-red piping darts down the central pathway, phone tight to his ear, impatient, as always, for his next rendezvous. As helium-voiced children dash through the strawed grass or fumble laughing with the shiny outdoor gym machines that line the way.

Vigilant mommies confer nearby, snacks, bottles and sweet-soothings or admonitions at the ready.

Up on the ridge near the front entrance a group of young teenagers too cool to be outwardly giddy are sitting intense in their circle of experiment and confidence.

The summer sojourn goes on and on.

I am doing the perimeter walk with terrier Bella, who is yapping it all up.

A few moments later I look back towards the ridge, and the circle has dispersed. I check my phone and it is 1pm.

Home to brood wordlessly over the lunch table, perhaps, or in front of illuminated dressing tables.

Bowls and dishes banged down afterwards beside the sink if narky mommies or daddies insist. At the third time of asking.

Back again to the circle, or to the next meeting point.

It is hard, at times, as well as exciting and confusing, to be a young teenager, and it is not easy to be the parent of a young teenager.

So much they have to go through and try to figure out, and we are there so wanting to be consulted, involved even, with every wrong move we make scorned or rebuffed. Even if we are right. Especially if we are right.

Just shut up, pay out and drive!

Plenty of forgiveness and latitude, it seems, for their own actions, less, or none at all for ours. As we carp at them, or helplessly complain and share with our equally-bemused partners.

Or so it often seems.

Who, oh why does each generation contrive to make these fleeting moments of gilded incandescent youth also so perplexing, so troubling and so erratic?

Even as this generation of parents pays attention like never before. Too much, maybe, or too little. Never right.

Sharing a space but precious few confidences.

And we contrive to be surprised when our children are compelled often to seek out moments of transcendence outside of their own possibilities.

And realising our worst fears, heedlessly seek out these moments in recklessly peddled libations, in carelessly mixed narcotics, or in the arms of similarily stumbling adolescents.

Soft-cheeked youth that should be shimmering giddy with potential and unsullied ambition, swaying graceful and green as those shimmering trees and quivering boughs.

Figuring it all out at their leisure. And ours.

So young and not yet brought down by earthly experience and inconvenience, and they continue, as we all did, to make the best and the worst of these incandescent moments.

As we, the parents, look for our own answers. And, dumbly, for their’s.

And all our hard-won certainties and securities continue to fall from our vaulted branches like the leaves of autumn lament.

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DIY Daddy

Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger


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Shank You Very Much

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About endardoo

A newspaper sub-editor for many years, I am now a blogger and freelance sub-editor. Husband of one and house daddy of two: a feisty and dramatic 17-year-old girl and a bright, resilient football nut of a boy aged 16. My website:

50 comments on “Parenting is no walk in the languid park

  1. Some nice poetic moments in this post here. Your remark about this generation of parents paying attention like never before resonates. It certainly seems to me from the outside, with no children, that parents worry and pay attention like never before. And it does seem to me that young people are very confident and self-assured as a result. But I’m sure the picture is very different from the inside.


  2. Yes, I suppose I haven’t perhaps emphasized the confident side of the equation enough, Derbhile, but they are still racked with doubt and uncertainty too. Quite the perplexing place to be, teenagerdom!


  3. Unlike with your children, as with any parent, there’s not a word out of place here.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. this is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. viewfromthebeachchair

    Reminds me of a park near my home. Summer in all its glory! #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  6. RaisieBay

    Parenting certainly is no walk in the park that is for sure, it’s more like a walk through hell once they become teenagers, interspersed with a little touch of heaven. It’s hard to remember my teenager years but I guess it was harder for me than it was for my Mum, isn’t that what every teenager thinks?
    Great post as usual.


  7. That’s exactly what every teenager thinks! Thanks again Anne!


  8. Fortunately, my children are all adults now. I remember the anxiety of parenting teenagers, and would not want to go back there!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You made it through! We’re still traveling!!!


  10. I have 2 teens, and I was listening to a mother’s group banging on about rubbish yesterday as I loaded the groceries in the car – rolling ability and getting bored playing and tummy time. All so inconsequential really. I guess you get caught up in whatever bit you’re in, but I do think the teen years are an time that seems to get the least ‘attention’ when it needs the most – or at least the most warning! #Globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  11. pragmaticpoe

    such nice writing. i could aspire to be so eloquent with my words. im just lucky i have enough of a filter to not bombard others with the expletives that hang out in my brain. πŸ˜›


    Liked by 1 person

  12. Very beautiful. Loved it. My kids are grown but I still found something nice in it. #TriumphantTales


  13. Beautiful as ever. Made me think as always. I am fortunate to live in a peaceful place where my children can just be away from many pressures. Having said that my 17 year old is trying to work out what to do with his life and that is a struggle for both of us. Then again, we walk and talk regularly and I am blessed in that. It is for him to say if he feels the same lol. #BloggerClubUK – we all find our way for good or ill in the end


    • Thanks Kate. It is such a struggle to have to make choices at 17 that might shape his life. But then again, he is young enough to change tack if that is what is required. I’m sure he is delighted to know you have his back whatever he chooses.


  14. Just thinking about parenting a teenager will bring the strongest parent to their knees. I know for a fact that my brothers and I ruined sleep for my parents for years.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Your writing style surely kept me capsulated – great work. Parenting the millennials is surely no walk in the park. I think that although kids of today are smarter, they needier. Then there are the added pressure that society places on us as parents #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Back from globalblogging #dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

  17. We are thankfully a few years from teenagerdom, however I can see little snippets of it here and there — frightening, actually. I will just breathe deeply now, and live in this moment, grateful! xo #globalblogging xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Dynamic Dad

    Not there yet, but how will teenagerdom have evolved in the next decade?!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. rawsonjl

    I have three tween/teenagers and it is such a fine line to let them make choices and mistakes and still oversee what they are doing to keep them safe. And yet there is something so timeless about teen attitudes and behaviors… #BlogCrush

    Liked by 1 person

    • A busy time fo you so!!! It sure is a fine line between choice and direction and we can perhaps only hope we get th e big calls right! Thanks for your comment


  20. A very poetic post this week! Life seems simple yet decisions face us at every turn and it is so easy to make mistakes. Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  21. We have ages, or so it seems, till the teen years hit. So for now it’s easy going and I’m grabbing it all with both hands and enjoying every second. While it lasts.And who knows, maybe teen angst will mellow out a bit before we get swallowed by the beast. Thanks for joining us for the #Dreamteam Enda. Love your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. diynige

    Parenting is wonderful but yes so much hard work I agree we watch our children more than ever today Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Thanks Nige


  24. The way I was raised is different to how I parent now, both due to generational differences, technological changes but also because I want to be there due to wanting, not a necessity. There are so many worries now, pressures on new mums plus the running the home, working, being a mum, wife, keeping strangers at bay from kids… its harder now then ever i think!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. mackenzieglanville

    Parenting teenagers, I feel this weight upon me right now to help guide her, set boundaries and also let her fly. I am unsure if my anxiety is clouding decisions? I love this “So young and not yet brought down by earthly experience and inconvenience, and they continue, as we all did, to make the best and the worst of these incandescent moments”! #ablogginggoodtime


    • It does seem like a weight sometimes, doesn’t it? But then, if they were easy decisions sure whre would be the challenge!!! Thanks Mackenzie


  26. Lucy At Home

    Oh I am nervous about being a mum through the teen years. My mum openly admits that I was a dream teenager (more trouble in my twenties, though!) but when I think of what some of my friends got up to as teens, I can’t imagine trying to deal with that as their parents. I worry that I am not up to the task and that all my careful work to build a relationship with my kids will be lost. But I cling to the fact that eventually, most teenagers come out the other side and conclude that their mum and dad aren’t so bad after all…! #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  27. You describe the general pattern so well … it’s just for some of us, dealing with a, let’s call it, challenging teen, the end seems so far away!! Thanks for commenting


  28. So beautifully written from the description of the walk in the park to the folks that populated it and finally the perplexing teens . Loved it all .

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Tracey Carr

    I love reading your writing Enda, you paint the most vivid of images. My daughter is almost 5 but I think about the teenage years already sometimes – probably because I found them very difficult and I want it to be better for her. But for now I am going to live in the moment and enjoy her childhood years! It gives great pause for thought though (and makes me look forward to the summer evenings!) #blogcrush


  30. Lucy At Home

    I remember the confusion of teenage life so well (and taking things out on my parents whilst simultaneously knowing I’m being ridiculous and wanting them to cuddle me!). It’s certainly a difficult period for all involved, and we just have to muddle through as best we can.

    And congrats on having ANOTHER post added to the BlogCrush linky this week! Feel free to collect your “I’ve been featured” blog badge #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

    • THANKS LUCY … Sure as a parent, i know I was a bugger at that age too!!! Thanks for the accolade. Much appreciated


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