The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres


With severe weather warnings across the region, and the rain hurtling horizontally past the window this morning, I drove the kids to their schools.

This is only the 2nd time I’ve done this in the 4½ years we’ve lived here, as both the primary and the high school are less than half a mile away (although in opposite directions). But with Rogan and Meg still recovering from the last effects of possible swine flu, it didn’t seem like a good idea to allow them to get drenched on the walk to school, then have to sit around in wet clothes all day.

On the drive back, watching the steady stream of kids walking singly, in pairs and in groups along the pavement, it suddenly occurred to me how the hood on a school kid’s coat is a never-used, pointless accessory.

It is designed purely to appease the sensibilities of responsible parents who haven’t realised that even in the most extreme weathers it will be removed the moment the child is out of sight.

As my thoughts prepared themselves for a rant about “kids today,” and it “not being like that in my day,” etc, I remembered it was actually no different in my day.

And at least some of these kids had their jackets fastened.


Patrick said...

I guess people tend to forget and ignore the fact that some things do happened in their past before. Maybe if we can go back time to see what some of the adults are doing back when they are young, we'll get to know that lots of them are no better than us. Well, just maybe.. haha

Pat said...

When they said Dumfries and Galloway on the radio I immediately thought of you and the family and I'm delighted they are up and about again and you are quite right to protect them during tempest. I had to do it for a long time as their school was in the next village and there were lots of hazards en route such as ponds and woods etc. Even when I felt I could trust them to walk safely I followed them in the car for a while. DO NOT GO THROUGH THE WOODS!

mapstew said...

Kids eh?

I went to visit Ma last night. She is 84 with poor eyesight. Yet what was her first comment as her shaven-headed 48 year old son entered the sitting room?

"Have ye no hat? You'll catch your death goin' out in this weather without a hat, will I get your sister to buy ya one in town tomorrow? Jesus but ya cant' be out without a hat and you as bald as a coot!"

Hi Ma, and how are you? :¬)

Anonymous said...

Hoods are no longer designed to stay up I find ... they just blow right off in this weather! And if the designer has thought ahead and put a string on so that you can tie it on then I'm with the kids in thinking that's just too uncool to go out in public!! ha ha!

savannah said...

you're such a dad! ;~D xoxoxox

Dan. said...

In some ways that reminds me of my missus. When we first starting going out it was winter. She never turned up to our dates wearing a coat because she always wanted to look nice for me, and in her head, coat= not nice. While I appreciated the gesture, there is nothing remotely attractive about blue lips and shivering.

Still, least she thought I was worth the hyperthermia...

Postman said...

Also, most parents, I think, tend to view galoshes as an anti-puddle precaution. Most kids tend to view them as sweet puddle-jumping equipment.

Carrie said...

I think the saying goes, "Kids will be kids." And it's probably safe to add, "Kids will be kids forever." Some things NEVER change. ;)

Coralee said...

I had to laugh at this post. ..I took the hood off a rain coat and have been looking for it over a month now. ..I want the hood back because I'm too lazy to carry the umbrella

Charlie said...

mapstew's mother sounds exactly like a mother. Great comment.

I remember when us cool guys laughed at the kids wearing mittens--and especially the ones who had them sewn to their coat sleeves so they couldn't be lost.

Boy, was I dumb.

Midnitefyrfly said...

To think of all of the weather precaution advice I did not take from my late grandpa and how amazingly I survived.

I have (painfully) learned to let go and let my kids figure it out, but I have a ranting conversation with my grandpa about it in my head from time to time.

Alice said...

On the opposite end of the spectrum, my 18 month old prefers to wear stocking caps in the house, and my 4-year-old wishes she could carry an umbrella every day.

Jasmine said...

Danielle is right. I can't get my hoods to stay on for anything. Not even with the string (and it doesn't usually come with one).

Vicky said...

Hoods on jackets are just big rain collectors!

Kim Ayres said...

Patrick - the shock comes when you reach ages where you remember your parents at that age

Pat - we seem to have survived the worst in our wee town, but I think there's been more problems elsewhere in the county

Following your kids to school in the car sounds a little over-protective :)

Mapstew - sensible woman your ma :)

Danielle - you might on to something there. It's true I struggle with min in the slightest gust

Savannah - it's true :)

Dan - my sister is 42 - sorry, 39 and 3 dozen months... - and while she will wear a coat or jacket, she still won't do it up.

Postman - oddly enough galoshes is something I've never had experience of. It's not something my parents ever kitted us out with, so I never considered them for our kids either

Carrie - and yet, as parents, we still expect our kids to show a bit more sense :)

Coralee - the problem with detachable accessories is they nearly always get lost :)

Charlie - has Martha sewn them into yours now?

Midnitefyrfly - the voices of our parents/carers never really leave us do they?

Alice - ah yes, at that age clothes are just fun and the connection isn't really made yet between particular clothing and function :)

Vicky - I can see the logic :)

Jacqui said...

Werecently had friends visit from California and we had a morning of torrential rain and we couldn't get them to put coats on - they see rain so little - they wanted to be out in it, to feel it on their skin and to enjoy the sensation of heavy rain - we did suggest they moved to England but they felt the novelty may wear off - very quickly!

Kim Ayres said...

Jacqui - not necessarily. If you talk to Mary at "Resident Alien", she grew up in California and never seemed to tire of the rain in Scotland (which is worse than in England)

Tiffin said...

Have been reading The Guardian this morning, about the flooding & rains, so glad to read you and yours are safe. Very true and dear story about kids and their clothing. Loved Map's Mom.

Mary Witzl said...

I don't get why it's uncool to do up your hood if it's raining, but de rigeur to do it up if it's not. All the hoodies go around hooded up on the nicest days. It just makes me feel so old.

And yeah -- my kids wouldn't have done their hoods up even if it had snowed bricks.

Anonymous said...

Sorry you guys are getting drenched there. It's all over the news here. Funny the things children will do to be cool. Of course I wouldn't know that.

pilgrimchick said...

I had not at all thought about the hood in this fashion. Even I don't always put it up under similar circumstances. Who knew?

Kim Ayres said...

Tiffin - fortunately we're near the top of a long street so flooding is only likely if our drains get blocked

Mary - good point about hoodies - although we don't seem to get many of them round here

Allen - were you born an adult?

Pilgrimchick - maybe it'll change if/when you have kids. Then again, maybe not - my sister has kids and I don't think she's ever worn a hood in her life

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