Friday, June 06, 2008

Of Sidewalks and Lawn Clippings

As you may have gathered, I take little Nikki Dee for a walk every weekday morning around 9:30; well ... I walk and she sits and rides, which is a good deal if you can get it. For the past few mornings, I have been a little disappointed in some of the neighbours, not necessarily the immediate ones but those a little further along the route. There must be at least four properties that I pass that have recently mowed their lawns ... and not bothered to sweep the clippings off the sidewalk.

And I wonder why people behave that way. Is it intentional, thoughtless, rude, or an in-your-face attitude? I should imagine it's a somewhat innocent mixture of thoughtlessness and laziness for most, but leaving a job unfinished like that bothers me a bit because too many people seem to be either deliberately or unconsciously inconsiderate.

I'm not sure when I became conscious. In fact, I'm not even sure if I'm always a conscious human being even now. But I think that most of us do better as we get older. For all I know there may have been a time when I left lawn clippings on the sidewalk after mowing. Perhaps not, for I have recollections of blowing it to the side a long time ago in an old house in a faraway place when the girls were little and I was a young father. But I may not have always done it, or I may have been thoughtless in countless other ways.

A few years ago, I opined to a former neighbour, that I think that people finally mature around the age of thirty-two. Oh I just picked that number out of my hat, but I imagine that you take my point. It takes a while for most of us. The funny thing was that said neighbour breathed a sigh of relief because she had just barely qualified.

I know that we all have our own inner schedules and that's there's no specific magic age, but it takes most kids awhile to grow up in these times. I also know, for I have taught some, that there are some very mature-for-their-years teenagers and/or college students out there, so I am not making a blanket statement but just reflecting on things based on recently seeing multiple houses leaving their lawn clippings on their sidewalks.

All of that lofty thought (as if) from lawn clippings!

But really, when did you grow up? Was it when you moved out of your parents' home, when you got your first real job, when you had your first kid, or bought your first house? How old were you, do you reckon?


KGMom said...

Hmmm-when did I grow up? Several times. . .like age 5 when I went to boarding school, or age 15 when I stayed in the US while my parents went back to Africa, or age 27 when our first child was born, or. . .Like I said, many times.
On lawn clippings--I agree that as we get older we take more care, but then I remember that when I was younger I had too many things to do to worry about lawn clippings. Now, I sweep the sidewalk!

megz_mum said...

That's a tricky one! I think it is a work in progress even now. A little bit grown up with that first part time job, then a drivers licence, a move away from home to Uni (felt very grown up at the time), first job as a graduate, getting married, having babies and managing a house......lots of bits of growing up all the time!! Does growing up mean being responsible? Independent? Community minded? And in which aspects of your life? I like to rollerblade with the kids, and enjoy the kids movies - is a part of me not "grown up yet?
This is a multi-faceted "to ponder on" question!

ChrisB said...

Gosh that's a toughie I thought I was very grown up when I left home at 18. But getting married and having two children made me grow up a bit more. However at 29 being left alone when my husband walked out I guess was the biggest growth spurt. I had sole responsible for my children, house, paying bills and the garden~ and although this wasn't a lot different to what I had been doing before it just felt different. So I wasn't that far off your 32~ oh and always cleared the grass cuttings!

oshee said...

I was married at 20; mom by 21; mom of 5 at 30. When I married, I thought I was an adult, but as I look back at my life it wasn't until about 27 that I was really feeling grown up. And now, I look at my mistakes, and realize there never will be a point of being complete ready for what is coming next. I am still growing up and as long I'm growing I know I'm ok.

Ginnie said...

Grow up? What does that mean? I'm 75 and the longer I live I find that all that stuff that I thought was critical to a good life is just "stuff". I try to keep an open mind and I find I learn something new every day. I hope I never "grow up"...if it means living up to what this crazy world expects of me.

Kila said...

The messes left on the sidewalk would have bothered/disappointed me, too.

As for growing-up, I think it hits most folks once they buy a house (age 24 for me) or have children (age 26). Responsibilities.

I know some teens who are very mature, however, and others in their 50's who are still completely irresponsible. Personality and upbringing both play a role.

Amanda said...

We share a bit of grass with our neighbours at the front of our house, and when they cut the grass they never sweep up which is very annoying. The kids pick the grass up on their shoes and it gets dragged through our house:-/
I got married at 20, had my 1st kid at 21 and now i'm 31 with four kids!
Take Care,
Amanda xx

Dale said...

It's incremental, I think. I'll be 50 next month and I'm still growing up.

Janet said...

I agree with the other commenters. It seems to be a progressive thing. I was probably 34 before I REALLY knew what I needed to do with my life (get out of that particular marriage), but I missed the opportunity to really do what I wanted to do when I grew up. By the time I realized it, it was too late. So I consoled myself with community theatre and worked at jobs I hated to pay the bills. I'm very lucky now that I can stay home with my kiddos.
I was raised to be respectful of nature and property, so sweeping up the grass clippings was certainly part of that. I think it's mostly laziness on most people's part. We see that mentality a lot. Unfortunately it goes a lot further than grass clippings. People can't be bothered to properly dispose of their garbage, so they dump it over the hill on other people's property, often ours. And it isn't always about money. I've seen people driving expensive new cars and they'll still throw their fast-food bags out the window while driving down the road.