Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Things sure have changed

Most of us have seen this or something like it:

How did we survive 50 years ago?

We drank water from the tap not a bottle and nobody knew about the dangers of lead poisoning so even cribs were painted with brightly colored lead based paint. Medicine and Bottles with tablets did not have child proof lids...No seat belts or air bags in cars, nobody knew or if they did told our parents smoking and drinking was bad for the baby...kids shared coke from one bottle, soda had masses of sugar and we ate real white bread and butter and everything else including full fat milk that we are now told is bad for you .....

There were no cell phones ...we all stayed out until the street lights came on, playing then we'd go home because we were told to.  If we got in trouble, chances are we'd get a thrashing and if we messed up in school or talked back to a teacher, we'd get the same. 

So we got a cut or a bruise, we never saw the inside of a hospital.   We didn't have video games but we could play for hours making a a go-cart, or a tree swing, or even a tree house.   We played ball with whatever kind of ball we could find and usually played in the street or in that empty lot next door.  We swam during the summer where ever there was water and it it wasn't clean, we just didn't swallow it.  

We rode our bikes with no helmets and  if we didn't make the team it was because we just weren't good enough and that was that.

But most of all, we were allowed to be kids...to dream, invent and to play.  It's no wonder that the generation that grew up then created some of the most innovative and exciting technology we have today Thanks for those years and all those "BAD THINGS" that is why we are who we are today. 

I was thinking about this today.  My daughter got sick last night and threw up.  She told her Mom she was sick and couldn't go to school.  At around 11:00 AM she came to me and told me she was sick, too sick to go to ag class but was going to just stay home and work on her online schooling.  An hour later she was yakking on the phone, texting friends and looking pretty good to me.  I know I'd never have gotten away with that.

I remember, it was early in my junior year of high school.  I attended a Catholic school in the "not the best area" of Boston.  Getting to school meant a bus, two different elevated commuter trains and a half mile walk.  One day,  I called the school from the train station and told them I was my Dad and that Larry was sick.  What was I thinking?  They took down the information and proceeded to call my Mom.  uh-huh.  I spent the day hanging around the local public school (two elevated commuter trains and a bus ride back).  Had a great day visiting with friends and I went home about the normal time.  Uh-huh.  I walked in the door and Mom exploded in her quiet way...yeah, "Wait until your Dad gets home!"  By the time he got to the room I was in after he arrived, he already had his belt off.  Yep, there were tears.  And then the next morning with my Dad at my side we visited my school--where I was promptly expelled.  Boy, I wasn't proud at all...and I wasn't sitting real good, either.

Fifty years ago, forty, thirty or even twenty,  things were different.  We learned from the school of life and we created the lives we have.   At least in my sphere, things weren't handed to me (I had my first real "paying job" when I was fourteen.  That job was in a Mozzarella cheese factory and I had to give some of my money to my Mom).  I saved up for and bought my first car and paid the insurance myself.  I ultimately worked my way through college with minimal student loans.  I even sold my Ford Mustang (1965) to fly to Portland to get married.  I did---WE ALL DID things for ourselves.  And we were proud.

Things have sure changed.   Unfortunately, it is WE that created this new generation.

P.S.  I really REALLY do know some neat young people.  This is NOT a slam at them at all.


  1. Only one comment for this Larry:

    Your so OLD!!! :P

  2. Love this, Larry. It's so true. We also had to do our own studying without Mom and Dad's help. If we failed, it was our fault, not the school's or the teacher's. We didn't expect to be given A's just for doing the work, either.

  3. Thanks, Thaedra---yep.....I am. And they sure have, N.R. As Thaedra will see once she gets some, umm, age on her :D

  4. Elaine, I could have gone on and on with this...but you are sooooo right. I was always up to us.

  5. Oddly enough, I was just having a conversation on this very topic with my own daughter (42) a short time ago. Her daughters are 10 and 12 and she was explaining how easily they are bored and how exasperating that is to her.
    I told her our children are the product of their environment. For the first 6 and 8 years of these girls lives their time was scheduled. Week-ends the family had plans of some sort and they never have learned to find fun or find things to occupy their time. They have never learned to go for a walk alone or with a friend and just enjoy nature or talk with God or talk with each other and be entertained by just doing those things. We, the adults in their lives, didn't allow them to learn that.
    We have created a future of many, many people who will need to be structured and will not understand taking responsibility for their own lives and decisions, assuming they learn how to make a decision.
    Excellent post.

  6. change is one of the great things in life... even though i prefer stability.

  7. You know, it's not that things change which throws me, it's how fast they change. My oldest daughter (24) presented me with a Grandson (I was not consulted and quickly moved to be called Mum-mum and not the dreaded Grandma!)eighteen months ago. He is adorable, fabulous, wonderful, a prodigy of course... but you know what? Even in the time elapsed since his uncle was born (18 years ago)everything about looking after a baby has changed! Apparently I was doing it wrong (so how I dragged four children to adulthood is beyond me)I want to scream sometimes, remind the world of nanny states and pc societies that every one of our ancestors and all our children survived and thrived ... despite the fact we were doing it wrong!!! Argh!!! Ok, oops, sorry... creeping off to bang head on wall for a while. Excellent post :o)


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