Kids These Days!
Every parent strives to do better than the previous generation, providing for their children that which they lacked or missed out on in their own childhood.
Nowadays, the reviews are mixed.
Kids these days have it too easy! They’re spoiled with less required physical activity and way too much couch-potato-encouraging technology that keeps them inside exercising their thumbs rather than outside, exercising their whole bodies and minds.
~ Any Random Adult
It’s an on-going challenge for parents trying to strike the balance for their children; keeping abreast of what’s current, necessary and useful and making sure they don’t lose sight of what’s important for them to know how to do.
Despite the difficulties, I LOVE being a mom. Always have. For many years I enjoyed being a stay-at-home-mom, eagerly performing what others might consider mundane tasks for my kids, like painstakingly working out ketchup stains from their favorite dress or shirt, making sure the same favorite dress or shirt (or batman costume) was constantly clean so it could be worn several days in a row or making extra portions of a home-made dinner so I could freeze them for my son who refused to eat a cold lunch at school up until the 5th grade. I didn’t mind the endless task of picking up their toys and returning them to places they could easily be found the next day during their pre-arranged play-dates and I’d spend many hours searching and experimenting with new recipes I thought they might like to try. Even though my daughter is in 6th grade now, I still enjoy making her lunch for school every day.
These and so much more were—are, to me still, labors of love.
As my kids enter their tween and teenage years however, the tasks are changing and I’m starting to focus more seriously on the notion that it’s my duty to prepare them the best I can, for (real) LIFE.
Parenting is unique to each unique child.
Babies don’t leave the womb with a ‘here’s how I specifically operate and what I’ll need to know, mom’ guide and even though the long-held myths about moms having eyes in the back-of-their-heads and a-future-seeing-crystal-ball hidden in their bedroom closets are absolutely TRUE, our eyes and crystal balls are often clouded and not exactly all-seeing. I’m not always quite sure, how to make sure, my kids have the life-skills and tools they’ll need to become high-functioning, productive, kind and considerate citizens of our future communities.
In short, much of what we put forth is a bit of a crap shoot, flung from instinct.
For example, myself and four other mothers of my 14-year old son’s basketball-playing school mates recently hired a culinary chef who has a school in New York City to give our teenage boys some professional training in the kitchen. Sure, they know how to boil water for Ramen Noodles but what do they know about using a knife or picking fresh produce, making their own salad dressing, gravy or apple-crisp? Not much and my crystal ball predicts the women they’ll eventually end up with 10-years or so from now will not be as interested in devoting the same amount of kitchen and laundry time me or my mom did while raising a family.
It’s a new era and they’ll be out forging new paths and making lives of their own.
Our boys need to know how to cook and keep house.
Now that he’s been schooled, will he happily whip up a roasted chicken dinner complete with a fresh vegetable side and dessert when his future significant other informs him she’ll be coming home late from the office? I have no idea. BUT I continue to have faith and blindly put forth my efforts and babble, babble, babble on, hoping that somewhere in their premature brains my kids are processing what I say or make them do and will be able to pull out what they need, when they need it, like a magician pulls a rabbit from his hat.
Still, I can’t help but wonder how my kids will act or react when they get caught in a jam or circumstance that really requires them to step-up and take responsibility.
Thankfully, every once in a while however, the gods are good and toss out a bone, giving us insight as to whether or not we’re on the right track and we get a glimpse of what kind of an adult our child is going to be.
A few weeks before Christmas, I very suddenly and unexpectedly came down with pneumonia. I’ve never had pneumonia before. In fact, I rarely get sick. For the most part, I’m a Type A personality, leaving little time and patience for illness that would keep me from doing, let alone out of work. It’s not in my make up but this was out of my control. I had no choice but to succumb and was completely laid out for nearly two full weeks. With the help of a few family members and friends however, I was checked-in on, and my kids managed to get fed and brought to where they needed to be, including school each morning while I lay incapacitated in my third floor bedroom.
For days, I was completely unawares of the goings-on below and could barely hear my daughter moving about in the evenings.
I finally passed through the fever-delirium period and made it to the tolerating side of a hacking cough that cut like a knife in my chest. As much as I love my secluded bedroom, I desperately needed to make my way downstairs, if for nothing else but to reassure myself that I could still walk. It was sometime mid-morning on a weekday, when I took the last step down and rounded myself toward the kitchen for the first time in several days.
I saw a small piece of white paper taped face-down to the counter.
Reaching out, I flipped it over and this is what it said….
Yes, the first word in the fourth item on my 11-year old daughter’s List after ‘work on gifts’ (because she hand-makes Christmas gifts for each member of our extended family every year) is sew and even though I don’t, apparently she does.
It’s the second to last item however, that stopped me cold in my slipper-laden tracks.
Take care of mom
Thank you, good gods.
And as if that wasn’t enough to bring an already weepy mom to tears, on my way back up to Never-Never-Land, I glanced down the short flight of stairs to the front door. One of the last statements and only instructions I recall making from my sick-bed to my daughter before literally entering the Twilight Zone in the first 24-hours of being laid out was …
You’ll have to buy lunch at school.
BUT like many other kids these days, she had her own ideas about lunch and apparently, made it herself.
Even reminded herself, not to forget it from the fridge before leaving in the morning.
Kids these days.
They’re pretty awesome!
Photo Credit #1-3 Google Images
Photo Credit #4-6 KarenSzczukaTeich&www.takingtheworldonwithasmile.com