Friday, August 28, 2009

Waiting For Winter

The novelist John O'Hara once wrote a collection of short stories called "Waiting for Winter". The title of the book was in reference to the fact that, during the summer months, he could only write short stories, and in the winter he wrote his serious books. I think that is sort of like my blogging. We haven't had any rain this summer -- darn -- and I am enjoying the gorgeous weather. This is a picure of where I live, taken yesterday. Well, no, I don't live under a bridge -- but this is where I live, and we have had such a spectacular summer, I have had a lot of things going on in my life, and I have been away from my computer for much of the time. So I haven't had an opportunity to visit all my wonderful blogging friends. You're probably wondering where have I gone... I'll be back.

This morning CTV news reported that thirteen-year-old Laura Dekker from the Netherlands wants to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world, and her parents think that’s a great idea. But, the Dutch Council for Child Protection has stepped in and put a stop to it. Finally, someone with some sense. A thirteen-year old child does not have the emotional capacity to be alone on the world's oceans in a small boat, for two years. What are this child's parents thinking? Has the world gone mad? Children should be allowed to be children for as long as they can. They have plenty of time when they're older to do foolish stupid adventurous things. I once took sailing lessons, and to pass the exam, I had to sail a 27-foot boat solo across the bathtub bay in that picture at the top of the post. It was one of the most difficult, nerve-wracking things I ever did. Children don't belong strapped to the wings of an airplane, piloting an airplane, or sailing a small boat across a stormy ocean. It's perilous enough navigating the treacherous waters of junior high school. Kudos to the Dutch government for putting a stop to the nonsense.

Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!

11 comments:

Jennifer D said...

another great post Jo. I was wondering what these daredevil children turn out like as adults.
Are they still thrill seekers or do they even live long enough to become adults?

DUTA said...

Very sensible words, Jo.

Nancy said...

I couldn't agree more about the child sailing. Young children come up with plenty of wild ideas. It's up to the parents to say no, and if they don't have the common sense to say no, then luckily the government does.

PhilipH said...

Yes, it is just plain stupid to let a 13 year old girl (or boy) go out on the high seas in a darn yacht.

The parents must be mad.

Nicole said...

Thank God someone put a stop to it! What were these parents thinking? Probably of fame and fortune.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

It would seem that the world has gone mad...... Maybe the family is in dire staights and needs the money from talk shows....

Deedee said...

Yes Jo, I agree it is hard to stay in and write when the summer is all around outside. Just too hard! I heard that kid was suing for the "right" to sail the world alone. I bet she would regret it at 2 am in the middle of the Atlantic during a gale. Some people just don't want what's good for them, eh?

Russell said...

Sailing a 27-foot boat from Vancouver Island to Vancouver is not for amateurs. It is about 40 miles across that bay.

That bathtub - as you call it - can turn into churning water and big waves pretty quickly! Goodness...!

I would not take doing something like that for granted!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I couldn't agree with you more about children sailing around the world solo, for two years yet, at a formative stage in life. I thought of doing a blog post about it but just the thought exhausted me. What you wrote is perfect, Jo.

As a parent, the very thought of this upsets me horribly. The treacherous waters of junior high school are indeed difficult enough. Laura Dekker's parents must be fullbore nutjobs. The teenaged boy who just accomplished this sail had some excellent words on the subject about how it's not just being able to sail, but to build an engine blindfolded and a lot of other skills it is unlikely she has at her age.

Owen said...

Good to see some folks have some good sense still, your good self for starters, plus the comments that all seem to concur...

My daughters (16 and 12) have been doing sailing lessons every summer for the past 6 years or so, but I wouldn't dream of letting either of them sail off solo outside the relatively protected waters of the Bay of Morlaix. What utter nonsense. Too many people these days seem obsessed with being the first or the youngest or the most outrageous by pulling all manner of stunts... mainly it seems just to get attention. I think they should give it a rest, or just do it with no publicity attached, for personal enrichment...

reyjr said...

Haha I agree. But then again, at the very least they should have decided on a minimum age - so that when that kid reaches that age then she can go and be the daredevil she wants to be. Everybody happy.