Living on the edge

Ross on the edge (click to enlarge)

Daughter number 3 is travelling along the West Coast of America with her boyfriend for a month.  Far from finding them comforting, her emails worry us. First it was being pulled up for speeding – in the desert!  Got a fine.  Then freezing at night in the Grand Canyon (I told you to take my unfashionable fleece!). Next sending us photos, like the one above.  Tourists were taking photos because they thought she was about to jump. Great, Susie, can you just go for a quiet game of tennis now. Her father has vertigo, made worse when he saw this.  Today Ross is ill – after swimming in a river.  And they have an 8 hour drive to San Diego.  Perhaps we worry because they are so open about what they do. As a student I got into all sorts of scrapes but kept them from my parents.  They would have worried and more critically, made my life more difficult.

Or is it because I was a different kind of parent by the time Susie came along? Running a business, managing clients and people, sharing household duties, busy social life, supporting extended family, involved in the community, no time nor inclination to worry unduly about a small child. Always living on the edge of chaos, creative and organised chaos became a way of life. Then a series of ‘accidents’. Coming home to find that the dryer was on fire and the children hadn’t noticed. Susie concussed when horsing around with her sisters. Meanwhile one parent at the post office and the other at work. Arriving home as the ambulance arrived. Driving too fast on the motorway, spinning the car 360 degrees in the fast lane, fortunately no traffic in the other two lanes. ‘What are you doing, Mum?’ says the child in the passenger seat. There but for the grace of God…

Maybe living on the edge is learned behaviour. Oh dear…

Susie on the edge of the Grand Canyon. This week. Her father had 10 fits when he saw this!

8 thoughts on “Living on the edge

  1. She will remember you as the parents that let her use her wings and she will be better adjusted than the average young lady because of it. I live not too far from the Grand Canyon and My daughter lives in San Diego greatest gift I ever gave her? not the college education or the car! her freedom and the trust to make her own decisions…. Your daughter is doing exactly what we all should, do she is taking life and embracing it for all its sharp corners and diamonds. You are the parents of a wonderful free spirit… Be proud of her. I dont know her and I am 🙂

  2. After reading you beautiful thoughts which you have put to paper I have come to the conclusion that both Ross and Susie will always live their life to the full which is somthing a lot of people including myself managed only to a certain degree. It has been through being with my wonderful family and my friends I have accomplished a lot in my life which has been mainly family orientated. Both Ross and Susie will always be free spirits, that is what makes them so loved by all who know them. I must admit when I saw the photo I felt a littlle wobbly at the knees, but I dont like heights, but can you imagine the wonderful view they both must have encountered? They will both always make us proud in what ever they do – Love to you all Sandra

    • Thanks Sandra. I agree with you. I never had those freedoms – or the money! I am proud of them both too. They take everything in their stride, And collect friends as they travel. You should write a blog! Catherine x

    • Hi Sandra…Small world eh? Last time I saw Ross he was I think about 6 yrs old and all the boys playing in the yard with a cat! I remember hearing the cat had somehow gone ‘over’ the fence! Hope you are doing good Glad your son has the “adventure” bug. It is so amazingly beautiful over here 🙂 Next time I will have to plan on meeting up with them while they are passing thru.

      Kathy in Los Angeles CA

      • that would be great Kathy, I didnt realize it was you writing. I am very proud of both ross and susie, they are two of the most loving and considerate people I know (ross must get it from his mother ha ha) Next time you are in the UK please please do get in contact


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