Snow Stories. Or Aphorisms….

Snowed all day yesterday…. Seven inches or so of snow…. Not a subtle dusting….

Got out the snow-blower today….

Snow Aphorism #1: Blowing snow is just as relaxing as mowing the lawn… with a wood chipper….

Those of you who don’t get a lot of snow, but do have huge lawns may not understand the subtlety of that statement….

I have a HUGE snow-blower. Think Tim Allen….

Giant snow-blowers are not gyroscopically balanced. Neither is this segue.

I’ve been studying some chess recently. Mental exercise. To develop my mind.

Snow Aphorism #2: At least with teenage girls, snow blindness function like chess blindness.

Chess blindness is when you stare at the board… looking at subtle positional themes or outrageous combinations… like forced mate in 21 moves that starts with sacrificing your queen… yet miss being mated on the next move….

I’ve been preaching situational awareness to my daughter….

She “lost” her cell phone at church camp this weekend…. Shouldn’t have been in her hand…. Shouldn’t have been in her pocket…. Shouldn’t be in a position to be lost….

Ordered replacement. Overnighted. Out for delivery… in middle of snow storm….

She went out to check a few times. Finally came.

I asked how much snow….

“Not much. If [babysitter] can get out of driveway, you certainly can.”

I have 4-wheel drive. And LOVE to gun it down the driveway. And up it. Eight inches of snow? NO PROBLEM….

It’s just white mud that melts, right…?

I have re-named her cell phone….

SQUIRREL!!!

She missed that the 7-8 inches from the OTHER side of the driveway had been moved behind the door where my car was parked. So… this morning… open garage to drive to school… and there is a pile about THREE FEET HIGH just outside my driveway!

So… I can’t back out and THEN gun it…. I’ve got to gun it and try to navigate the narrow doors….

So… I asked her… “How could you MISS that…? After I’ve been preaching to you about situational awareness…?”

Response…? You know it’s coming….

“Why didn’t YOU go look yourself…?”

What I didn’t say…. What I was told as an Intern…. If I do it… I don’t need you…. You’re job is to do it…. And if you can’t do your job, you’re not necessary….

What I thought…. I’ve been trying to teach you situational awareness… and if you can’t notice something as big as a three-foot snow bank right in the path of the car when you walk by it because you were distracted, you have no hope of noticing a mugger or a rapist or anyone or anything else that might have dire consequences… so… I can’t trust you… to drive… to go anywhere by yourself… to go off to college…. To function independently….

So… I took away her phone…. Told her that I provide her a phone so that I can get in touch with her… and if she is not willing to pay attention, then I need to oversee her more closely…. Make all of her phone calls for her…. Send all of her text messages…. EVERYTHING…. if she is unwilling to be responsible and THINK… learn situational awareness… then I am unwilling to trust her… (especially given her propensity to lose phones… which cannot be replaced for six months….)

Then… I said that I provide the phone for MY ease of communication… and that I will let her know when I am available to come get her after school….

And… it flew right over her head….

That if she doesn’t have a cell phone… she will never know I’m trying to reach her….

So… I explained the difference between being distracted by the SQUIRREL… and thinking through and PAST the squirrel… to what’s actually important…. Situational awareness…. Closed-loop communication…. Responsibility for actions….

Squirrels are cute and all…. But squirrels aren’t efficient planners. They’re planters. They lose track of the nuts they plant and that winds up as reforestation.

Trust me on this: I really have NO desire to be the Social Secretary for my teenaged daughter. Never did. Still don’t. And sometimes I wish she were better at hiding things so I wouldn’t have to find out…. But if you tell my kids that… I’ll be forced to deny it….

Really… she’s much, much better…. Not perfect like I was at her age… but….

And… I have no choice but to at some point trust her to drive and go off to college…. Or… I’d just extend the greatest source of frustration in my own life….

So… I just keep thinking that someday some naive stranger is going to take her off my hands… and out of my hair….

But… until then… I have to try to continue to find some way to teach her….

Situational awareness…. Same lesson…. Repackaged….

Well…. Someone else seems to be noticing the SQUIRREL in the room….

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2551578/Is-Twitter-making-STUPID-Social-networking-sites-making-hard-people-think-themselves.html

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One thought on “Snow Stories. Or Aphorisms….

  1. Pingback: Snow Stories. Or Aphorisms…. | Wright-Wang Extreme Mystery, Inc.

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