It’s a miracle I’m still alive today. Not because of any catastrophic event or because I was mistreated as a child, quite the opposite. My parents were and are THE BEST! I say this because life as a child was much different than today, simpler…much simpler.
You might remember the good old days. When your swim lessons consisted of your dad throwing you in the deep end, and you flailing around thinking you’d never trust him again. When Halloween costumes were created by your parents’ drawing some whiskers on your face, putting you in a leotard and topping you off with a headband with ears. BAM: You’re a cat, and they called it a day. Boy, have times changed.
Parents buy every little thing society tells them they need in order for their kid to survive. I always laugh when I shop for a baby gift and look at the registry these days. There are wipe warmers, machines that move the baby as if they’re still in the womb, and even colored, wireless monitors so you can stalk every move your peanut makes. Oh, and the highchair and shopping cart covers, add those to the list. Here’s my point, our asses got the cold wipes, the rocking chair, privacy, and germs, and we’re still alright, I guess.
Speaking of baby monitors, let me tell you a story (my mom might kill me for this). She once told me about a time she and my dad loaded my sis and I into the car and headed to Florida (probably rolling around in the backseat, because car seats weren’t invented). Anyway, once we got there, they would open the hotel window and head to the pool while we were napping. Then, they would head back to the room when they heard us wake up. Sweet Jesus, this is twisted on so many levels. One, why did the hotel windows open? Two, isn’t this grounds for child abandonment? They’d have been hauled off to the clink in a heartbeat in today’s world. No shoes? No Monitor? No problem.
Today, our kids play games with each other through Ipads, while the best piece of technology we had was the Speak N Spell. We were too busy playing kickball with our neighbors until the sunset. Our kids talk via text, while we talked on the phone. Although, it was a damn miracle to get a ring tone if your friends didn’t have call waiting. But, oh boy, if you had a “teen” line, forget about it.
Products evolve, things change, and for that I am grateful. I just hope we don’t lose our connection to nature and more importantly, to each other. My childhood memories consist of things like camping, catching crawdads, building rickety playhouses, and dancing – straightforward, yet exhilarating. My point here is this, we are inundated with fancy gadgets that are meant to make our lives easier; yet sometimes, they just complicate our situation and cause more stress. I hope when my kiddos look back on their memories, they feel the same abundance I do about mine. Technology can be great, but It’s important to keep simplicity alive. In those things, I find ease, joy, and fulfillment. I find myself.