Saturday Climbing dives into the world of the complex relationships that take place between teenagers and their parents. In this particular situation, Moira is the teenager who is trying to explore the uncertainties in life while dealing with her father who is very cautious of her experiments. As the story evolves, there are many ideas that she accepts and rejects. There are also things that she hopes for throughout the story as well as fears that she thinks about. Valgardson demonstrates that parents need to exhibit faith their children in order for them to have a smooth transition into an independent life.
There are many ideas in Saturday Climbing that Moira accepts and incorporates into her thinking. The main idea is that she learns and starts to value the way her father thinks of life and how he wants the best for her. He was grateful for her confidence. Moira showing confidence in her father while he is climbing a hill is quite symbolic for this feat. She is showing confidence in her father and he is grateful for it and that confidence is what eventually evolves their relationship. Confidence represents faith in many ways, thus Valgardson indirectly uses this to demonstrate how independence is key in building a strong relationships between teenagers and parents.
From every corner of the room came cries of bitter disappointment and resentment. This shows that Moira clearly rejected the idea of rock climbing initially. She decided to give it a try and the activity eventually grew on her. The cause for the initial rejection of the activity was to be independent from her father but once she saw other kids climbing with their parents, she started to enjoy herself. In this situation, Valgardson states that healthy relationships lead to a life filled with more independence and happiness.
Valgardson uses symbolism throughout this story to touch on various aspects of the relationship between Barry and Moira. The rope symbolizes the strength of the relationship between Barry and Moira as the rope seems week but it is actually much stronger. As the saying goes, You cant judge a book by its cover. The cliff represents the struggle in the relationship as Barry tried to fight his inner-struggle. Eventually as the story progresses Barry is able to conquer the cliff and Moira is finally given the independence that she longed for. Valgardson demonstrates how parents go through a struggle within themselves to trust their childs decisions and give them enough independence to let them mature as adults.