You guys, I don’t know what happened between when I went to high school and now, but did you know that either teenagers these days are disolvable or carrying an umbrella requires I.D. or anyone found walking into the school with wet shoes is punished by decapitation or something because no one walks in the rain anymore. Do you know how many times I got a drive to school from my parents? During my entire school career? None. Well, maybe once or twice, but definitely, absolutely not even once a year. I can’t even recall a time, but I’m saying once or twice because I suppose it’s possible that I’m forgetting some isolated incident. And this is way back in the olden days when my part of Canada got snow storms. Not these wussy little flurries that we call storms these days. Actual snow storms. Ones that accumulate enough snow that you literally cannot open your front door. Enough snow that we’d create incredibly dangerous snow fort cities at the ends of our driveways with the piles left by the snow ploughs. I remember walking to school and my knees would be caked with snowballs. A little bit of rain? Ahahahahahahah WALK.
Maybe I’m just a special kind of snowflake and I got lucky with my waterproof skin and the ability to layer my clothes for warmth and my hand can hold an umbrella above my head without snapping off at the wrist. Maybe I just don’t know what it’s like for kids these days living with the fear of dissintegrating at the first notion of moisture in the air or of drowning while walking three blocks or of coats. Maybe I’m judging to harshly. Maybe the evolution has begun and kids these days are simply the first step toward total Wall-E-like bonelessness and they physically can’t walk anymore. What do I know? I’m old and don’t know what it’s like because I’m old and wouldn’t get it.
I was late for work today by five minutes. Because it was raining and this is not my first rodeo, I left five minutes early, leaving myself 15 minutes to drive 2.4 kilometres (1.5 miles); a trip that takes me five minutes. I was late because there’s a high school on the main corridor I travel on and it was stop and go, mostly stop, congested with cars dropping off their fragile little teens. On the way, I didn’t see a single school-bound person walking. Their legs must be so underdeveloped. Like a chicken.
Here’s my humble suggestion, not that it would make any difference because I know no one who reads this is a part of the problem (they’re all still stuck in the drop-off line):
Make them walk. It’s good for them. Think of the chicken legs.
Set their alarm for 10 minutes earlier so they’re ready to leave on time. Ten minutes less sleep isn’t going to kill them.
Buy them a coat with a hood. Heck, go nuts and buy them an umbrella! Sure, neither may be cool right now, but if enough of them start using them, it will become cool.
Boots. They were made for walking. Coincidentally, they were also made for walking in all sorts of displeasing weather – cold, snow, rain. They were made so their feet won’t fall off.
Make them walk. Geez. I’m pretty damn lazy and if I did it for 14 years, so can they.
And I know what you’re all thinking. You’re thinking that if I’m so quite to judge them for getting a ride, why aren’t I walking? Well, I have two kids to drop off at daycare first, with their backpacks and tiny legs, and then I drive the 2.4 kms to work, and then back again at the end of the day. Sure, it’s possible, but we’re judging teenagers now, not me. We’ll do that another day.
My point is simply this – it won’t hurt them one bit to walk. What it will do is force them to get some exercise, relieve a bit of earth-ruining traffic congestion, AND we can all get to where we need to go in a timely manner. Win/win/win!