Topics: Climbing, Rock climbing, Bouldering Pages: 1 (280 words) Published: January 30, 2013
Saturday ClimbingMatthew Downie
In the short story “Saturday Climbing”, author W. D. Valgardson skillfully uses rock climbing to portray the difficulties of parenting his independent daughter. The father, Barry, feels as though he and his daughter are growing apart, so in a desperate attempt to reconnect with her he signs both of them up for rock climbing classes. The climbing classes show Barry that parenting takes time and practice to become good at. After classes finish the father and daughter go out into the wild to rock climb. The mountain represents the true essence of parenting, as it, “prove[s] to be deceptive…at first the climbing [is] little more difficult than walking up stairs. Then, unexpectedly, the surfaces [smooth].” (1) During the climb Barry notices his daughter taking a different, more dangerous route than he did. This brave act makes him realize that there are many different paths a person can take, and his daughter would take some that he will not agree with. Like the climb, watching his daughter grow seems to be agonizingly slow and painful for Barry, but for her it is an exciting new experience. Barry quickly recognizes that his daughter won’t always act the way he wants nor do what he says, but it is a part of growing up that needs to be done. Soon, Barry’s daughter asks to take the lead in the climb, so he reluctantly lets her because he knows that after she graduates from high school he would have to get used to her leading her own life, but he would always be, “ever watchful, full of fear…ready to absorb the shock of any fall.” (3)
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