Being able to live vicariously through my children has brought many wonderful memories back for me. I remember being able to play outside all day and not have to come home until the street lights came on. My sisters and I would ride our bikes all over our neighborhood, walk to school, go the public pool all day in the summer, and we would knock on our neighbor’s door and ask if our friends could come out to play. We would use empty smashed milk cartons or a piece of old cardboard or trees for “bases” for kickball or baseball. We found hours of enjoyment playing with just sticks and stones, and we loved performing routines and plays that we made up on a whim for our parents. Our imaginations never hit a limit of what we could do to keep ourselves entertained.
Nowadays, I’m slowly realizing that my kids will do it differently. In a way, they are doing things differently. Just being aware of current events and the way the world is today, I feel I can’t allow my child to just go off and play all day without adult supervision. Houses are being built closer together and backyards have shrunk considerably. Many families have to drive to the park to play kickball with their kids.
I want to teach my kids how to bake a cake from scratch, how to make puppets out of handkerchiefs, and teach them that their own imaginations can invent games to play. I want them to know that they can survive a whole day without the TV being on and dancing to the Hokey Pokey is actually fun. I have found myself to be quite old fashioned and I want my kids to learn that life can be simple and a simple life is just as much fun.
In the year 2028, my kids will be 20 and 23 years old. They will probably never have to actually go to college, they would be able to access all their classes through something like a Kindle. They would be able to order takeout through a phone app, and perhaps get a check up from their doctor through a video relay so they won’t have to sit in a germy waiting room. A robot will clean their house and they will be able to order all their groceries and have them delivered. They will be able to project a movie with surround sound from their cell phone and they will be able to meet people from all over the world just by using the computer. Traveling the world will be much easier for them because they will more than likely know someone in another country who could show them around. Applying and interviewing for jobs would all be done electronically, and perhaps they would never have to go into the office to work. They would be able to submit all their work through their 100″ TV -slash- computer system that blends into the wall.
My kids’ computers and cell phones will have some sort of tracking devices so that I would know who they are with, where they are, and what they are doing and if they are on their way home on time and what kind of party they are planning on going to. My kids will probably have memories of their teenage years to be something like, “how can we get away with this without mom tracking us on the satellites?” Holiday dinners would be instantly ready by a touch of a button instead of smelling the turkey throughout the house. Sounds of family get togethers would consist of special ring tones and beeps for incoming texts.
I don’t think old fashioned values will ever go out of style, such as teaching manners, respect for others and being kind. I do know that it’s been hard for me to accept the fact that 9-year-olds ask for a Smart Phone for Christmas and want a motorcycle and a tattoo when they are only 15. I will do my best to educate my children, teach them manners and respect, and how to survive in the real world. I will make them earn those special gadgets by making them get a job. I will do my best to teach my children “old values” and basic survival skills and that there’s always something to learn from history. After all, there’s not much you can do with technology when the power goes out for a few days.
More from this contributor:
Why I Gave Up Sweets for Lent – Part 2
Sally’s Challenging Day