Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Kids today...and lessons learned.

So, after a few days off (riding the bike - the weather was incredible!), it's time to write.  As I sat, thinking, about which topic I might delve into, I decided to check Facebook.  There it was.  In stunning clarity, the topic for the day.  I say 'clarity' because it was in print.  Sort of makes it kind of clear...even for me.  This is what friends posted today:

 When I was a kid, I didn't have a cell phone, mp3, Nintendo DS, Xbox, or Wii. I had Barbies or Hot Wheels, a bike and a sandbox. If I didn't eat what my mom made, I didn't eat. And I dealt with it. I didn't think of telling my parents "no" or dare to talk back, 'cause I got in BIG TROUBLE if I did (after I got "the eye")
Life wasn't hard. It was life. And I survived. Repost if you appreciate the way you were raised.

So now, I think you can understand, especially if you are of  'my' generation, how it strikes a chord within us all.  This was the way we were raised.  I remember those simpler times...with incredible fondness, too.  Ours was a small town where we knew each other...and our families.  In fact (and I have corroborating evidence), this was a truth - if you went to a friend's house and acted inappropriately, you were disciplined.  From your friend's parent.  A lot.  Harshly.  The best part?  They were not only allowed to do it, but also expected to do it!  Hell, depending on said infraction, they had carte blanche to beat your....yeah, you get the idea.  Because of that, we had a great respect for the adults, too.  You tend to act respectfully when you know they can 'take you out'.  Some of the worst discipline I got was from friend's parents...until I got home.  it was usually worse there, yet we knew we deserved it.  Respect.  Look it up, kids.  Study it.  Practice it.  Try.
I remember the day we got a computer, too.  Commodore C64 from Radio Shack.  5 1/4" floppy disk drive.  Some of you are asking, "What's a floppy drive?"  Again, look it up.  it's under 'Dinosaur of the Computer Age'.  We even had to program in lines of computer code to play games.  All this because we had graduated from 'Pong'.  Yeah, see?  You remember.  Two paddles and a blip....blip.....blip.....blip.  God, was it tiresome.  We didn't have designer drugs, either, to make ANY of that remotely interesting.  Sad?  Well, yeah...but it was our life.  Wait...I mean, no...not sad!
Food?  Yes, I remember the, "You're going to clean your plate now or sit there until you do!" routines.  There was many a night with Mom's Tuna-Noodle casserole that I expecxted to see the sun come up from my seat in the kitchen.  Even she will admit her "Kay's Firehouse Special" was a mistake.  Lo, these many years later she will finally say it sucked.  Badly.  They made us eat it.  Obviously, it didn't kill me.  Close, but not really.  Truth is, we survived it all.
I had a 12" black and white TV in my room when I was a junior in high school.  THAT was the big gift at Christmas,  THE gift.  I remember my daughter having a 13" color TV with VCR when she was 4.  Yes...4.  Not my idea, but I didn't stop it, either.  I'm really longing for those earlier times right now.....
I wish we could take a trip back in time, not only for the little tadpoles we've brought into this world, but for ourselves.  I'm not sure, as time has passed, that my memory is as good as it was.  I believe the times we had were far better than any of us remember.  Hey, I can still paint vivid pictures of my first concert (Orleans) or THE concert to end all shows - REO Speedwagon & America as the opening band.  Oh, I know it doesn't sound like much...but we had a different attitude.  It wasn't who was in concert so much as what you did with that.......and all the acoutrements that came with concert night.  Yeah, you all know where I am going with that.  Correct - even America and REO sound great at times.....but the vivid picture wasn't of the concert.  It was my friends kindly leading my slouching body to my parent's front porch....and safely tucking me in on a lawn chair.  Of course, I got my ass whipped for that.  Someone might have been a bit disrespectful, so I earrned it....and you know what?  I lived.  I learned.  As a parent, I'm trying to share....
Until next time.....

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