Sunday, 16 February 2014

Never knock a teenager with attitude

because you never know what they might do next.
Yesterday I was reminded of this yet again when I did a little pedalling out into our rather damp neighbourhood. It had stopped raining but it was still very humid and I kept a wary eye on the clouds.
Oddly, there was no water in the creek in the park...and there should have been. That mystery remains to be solved. I had to avoid numerous puddles elsewhere. I attended a meeting and then left when the socialising started because I had visits to make.
I called in to see a friend with severe arthritis. I had to pedal through a large pool in the driveway of her block of units. As she can no longer walk that far I was not too concerned about her getting her feet wet. We talked about air-conditioners and I was relieved to discover that her new system is working well. She was not using it. For her it was cool enough to be wearing a cardigan, one I had knitted her years ago. It is now looking distinctly threadbare but the thought of wearing it made me perspire.
I eventually left to call on someone who lost her husband a short while ago. On the way I went down one of the quiet side streets adjacent to the railway line. It was there that I came across the two teens with attitude. They know me. We once had an altercation over the matter of graffiti at the railway station. They wanted their "tags" there and I told them the rest of us did not want their tags there. (Everyone said I was stupid to tell them that but I did because they challenged me over it.)
Yesterday one was up a ladder passing down (on a rope) a bucket full of leaves and twigs and other muck to his mate below. They were being watched by a very elderly man I know by sight. He nodded at me and walked of with the wheelbarrow piled high. It looked as if half a tree had come down on the roof.
"Gidday Cat!" yelled the one on the ladder.
"Yay! Cat!" came from the other one.
I stopped for a moment
"Did it do any damage?"
"Nah, don't think so," came the reply from the one on the ladder, "But when it rains again it might."
They looked damp and muddy - and quite happy about what they were doing. I also know that they are not reformed characters. They almost certainly still tag things which should not be tagged. I have seen them ride their skateboards down the wrong side of the road and cross against the red lights. At school they are known as "troublemakers".
And yet the two of them spent their Saturday afternoon helping someone else. He's not a close neighbour. They won't be paid for it. They just did it because "he's an okay sort of old guy" and, although they don't say it, I can hear "and he doesn't judge us".
I have hopes for these two...if people stop judging them they might just turn into responsible citizens a few years down the track.


Anonymous said...

They sound like the larikins of the past who grew up to be very responsible, and often successful, adults ... sooner or later!

catdownunder said...

suspect you are right Judy - although it is hard to believe!