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When ivy grows up

I recently talked to my sister-in-law, more precisely with my cousin’s ex-wife, about puberty. Of course I meant the puberty of my 14-year-old son; with her daughters, who are more than 10 years older, this is of course already water under the bridge. But she decisively rejected the congratulations: "You know, with puberty the matter is not over yet, then comes adolescence, and it can take a long time." What good news.


Recently, I was standing with my son in Copenhagen in front of a hotel entrance, perfectly fitted for a botanical lecture: "Here you see," I emphasised, "the youth form of Hedera helix, as this climbing ivy is called. The leaves are threefold, almost winged, it winds and grows for all it’s worth. But at some point the limit is reached, with this ivy quite precisely at the height of the hotel entrance’s awning, and the youthful, impetuous ivy will grow up, presumably after a tiny puberty phase that’s luckily hardly noticeable. It blooms out of season for us, but for the insects at just the right time, from the end of September to the middle of October, and then it starts to develop its fruits in the winter. Now the ivy is finally grown up and focuses on its offspring." I like to admit that I was pretty satisfied with myself, standing in front of the ivy and next to my son.
My son said this in response: "Yes, it flowers at an untimely time, when there are no more fruits. Totally off, just grown-up..."


Hmm. Silence.


It is only now, as I write this, that a suitable answer comes to mind: "It is actually much worse: the adult ivy stops climbing. This is the price it has to pay for stable growth, flowers and fruit. And perhaps this is precisely the real issue of adolescence: that one has to learn to live with oneself, that one does not climb any more. "


The sadness never ceases.


Of course, you have now had more than enough of botanical/development psychology parables. We also had enough in Copenhagen. But if you want to learn more about ivy, please read the detailed category text. And another thing: maybe if you have just become a father, mother, grandmother or grandfather, you should not plant an apple tree. Although we can also help you for this purpose. Much more appropriate would be a climbing ivy plant. And then, maybe quite exactly in 12 or 14 years from now, you can then stand in front of it with the younger generation and...

 

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