Monday, October 24, 2011
This is my four year old eating a birthday cake lollipop and chugging Pellegrino sparkling water at our local Starbucks.
I was startled and had to capture the moment I realized the G-U-L-F separating my kids growing up experiences and my own.
Not to sound like that old comedy routine, "In my day, we had to walk to school up hill 2 miles, BOTH WAYS and WE LIKED IT!". But in my day, it was a very, very different day.
First, my parents would never think to spend money on WATER, least of all fancy Italian water, for their four year old darlings. Our treats were limited to 7-11 and we had to bike there.
Second, even the taking of this picture was different. I had to wait until my Mom remembered to develop the film-my son asks to see every pic immediately on my PHONE.
Third, my kids go to a coffee shop and have their own drinks. My eight year old gets a tall, vanilla bean with chocolate swirl. My Caden gets whatever he wants (see my other blog: "No Children Were Harmed In The Making of This Commercial").
Finally, the ability to even sit at a coffee shop with my kids is new. My mother rarely, if ever, had time to sit down with us for no reason other than to drink caffeine. She was always doing something-cooking, cleaning or sorting mail.
This tells me a few things about my modern day babies and raises some critical life questions. First, we have disposable income. Or at least we view a larger portion of our income as more disposable then my parents did. Asks the question-is it really that disposable? Makes me stop and revisit the wisdom of budgeting and goal setting.
Second, technology is as natural as breathing for our kids. We struggled to attach and work our ginormous beta to our even larger televisions. My kids assimilate new technology as easily as changing socks. Their expectations for performance from technology is instantaneous. It is the blinking, beeping crack which feeds the 'right here/right now' mentality. How does this bleed into other areas of their lives, their character and their behavior?
Finally, sitting and chatting with them at the coffee shop are some of my favorite moments with my boys. We have giggled and chatted our way through more than one beverage. I look them in the eye and hear their voice. It makes me stop and literally smell the coffee. With thousands of messages and voices bombarding them everyday, am I getting through?
This won't be the last of a blog of this kind. The world is changing at the speed of Google. However, I will stop and try to answer the questions brought about by sitting down with my Starbucks Babies.