For Crying Out Loud Watch Where You're Going!
Watch Where You Are Going!
"For crying out loud" was often a good way to preface "watch where you are going" when I was a child because the not watching often did end up in a bout of crying. One particular incident I recall is when failing to watch where I was going I stepped on the tines of a rake and the handle lifted off the ground to hit me right down the center of my face. After a second or two of stunned silence I distinctly recall crying out loud. What I did not appreciate at the time was that "watch where you are going" applied to all areas of my life and that my failure to keep an eye on my dreams and goals or even to set goals has resulted in more than a few bouts of tears. While my parents were very good at teaching their offspring not to step in the unpleasantness left on the lawn by a dog or two they offered very little instruction on how "watch where you are going" was a very good thing to keep in mind when stepping out into life. In order to watch where you are going you first must know where it is that you needing or wanting to go to. It is interesting to note how often "For crying out loud watch where you're going" is followed up with a frustrated "Oh for pity sake!"
Better Watch Your Step
As one progresses through childhood learning the consequences of stepping in this or banging into that a new parental catch phrase emerges; "You better watch your step." If watch where you are going doesn't have you walking about on the constant alert for unknown lurking physical obstacles then chances are you are not going to fall for the subtle change in what you are now being called on to watch. However, if you are doing your best to be a decent person you will valiantly try to interpret "watch your step" to the best of your ability. From my experience "You better watch your step" was a warning signal that I was getting to close to the buttons on my parental units. Watch your step meant I was in imminent danger of upsetting some invisible apple cart. Considering how invisible the rake had been in the tall grass it stood to reason that there were also things hidden from my view when it came to dealing with people. By the time I hit my teens I was fairly adept at not stepping in dog doo however I was experiencing a good deal of difficulty ascertaining just what it was that set adults "off". I had in no way mastered "watch your step" before things changed altogether. As my newly feathered wings began to stretch watch turned into where. It is interesting that a question can also be a demand but "Where do you think you're going?" was definitely both.
Where Are You Going?
I must say the theme was consistent, it was all about where I was going. And therein lies my peeve. With my childhood far behind me and my own children grown and flown I have the time to reflect on where I went and what I did and did not watch as well the varying places I went. From my now perspective it seems to me that parents can do far better for their children than to steer them clear of dog feces. In the grand scheme of life getting a little do on your shoe isn't all that big a deal. "Watch where you are going?" would be far more effective in setting a child up for a successful life if the question were targeted towards goals and dreams rather than a little crap. Parents who are resistant to the thought of cleaning a little poop off a toddler's shoe are without foresight and often find themselves cleaning up messes their children make well beyond childhood. Parents who recognize that there are far more painful obstacles in life than a rake handle will set their offspring up for success, encouraging them, supporting them and yes steering them if need be.
Parents who have foresight are well aware that they are not bringing up children at all but are in fact raising future adults. It serves the parent, the future adult and society at large if parents assist the child with the child's dreams and goals rather that visiting their own, often negative precepts and beliefs upon their children. Hence the saying "the sins of the father are visited upon the children". To sin is to miss the mark and we will continue to "miss the mark" with our children so long as we do not find out what they need and they want to be, do and have in life and then do everything in our power to assist them to that end. There is not one child born on this planet who has, when asked "What do you want to be when you grow up? answered with "A prostitute" or "A drug dealer".
My Dog Do
When I plan to go for an evening walk
And I'm looking for a companion To walk with me My dog do When Mum said I was to herd the chickens Back into the coop And I needed a helper My dog do Chickens, dickens, talk about trouble Feathers flying, beaks sqwakin' And I can't catch 'em, but My dog do That darn rabbit's been in the garden munchin' And I get a hold of him I run n' dodge n' dash but I can't My dog do Summer's here and its time to visit The old swimming hole My brother's busy with the haying Dad's not one for swimming My dog do Out in the back woods, chasing shadows And would be monsters There comes a smell of dead carcass I can't stand it, but My dog do When a stranger comes knocking at the door And I think his friendliness, nice I approach in an open, trusting manner I find no reason to mistrust, but My dog do It's time for me to cut the lawn And the mower's hard to push It's a roarin' and a spittin' As I go a slippin' and a slidin'in My dog do When all is said and done And day has come to end The sun has set, the moon has risen I slip off to sleep just as My dog do Macleod Tanner September, 2002
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