Monday, January 22, 2007

Super Kids

I am a true child of the seventies and eighties. I enjoyed television shows like, HR Puff N’ Stuff, Name That Tune, Tarzan, American Bandstand, Hee Haw (and the corny corn field jokes) , Bear Bryant’s Golden Flake and Coca Cola T.V. show (even though I turned out to be an Auburn Fan),and the Dukes of Hazzard. I grew up playing outside with my Evel Knievel motorcycles (repeatedly crashing it into any object, just like he did), water rockets, Frisbees, footballs and bugs, lot and lots of bugs. My favorite games were Sorry, Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders and one well worn Rubik’s Cube. Then when electronic games hit the market I was the proud owner of a Simon, a Merlin, and a Classic Electronic Football Game, not to mention countless quarters fed into PacMan, Galaga and Asteroid machines in an Arcade. And it was only until Sunday, when I watched my 4 year old son navigate through a Playstation 2’s Socom 3, did I realize that I was as old as my children say I am.

My son’s tiny fingers manipulated the buttons flawlessly as he found each one of his digital targets then summarily fired his weapon. I cringed. His little eyes were locked on the television in a concentration I could not explain. I became unnerved and kindly took the controller from him, and turned off the game. I then gave him a blank piece of paper and a pencil, so he could practice writing his name. After about two minutes my young son asked, “Daddy, can I use the computer to write my name, it’s faster?” However his oldest sister was updating her Myspace page, as his big brother changed his play list on his MP3 player. I told him, “Your sister is using it right now.” His response, “well how about your laptop?” Needless to say I stood in awe as this 3 foot tall child looked at his pencil with disgust then sat down quietly.

Somewhere between writing, working and trying to stay fit, my old folk switch has been activated. I listened to some of the music my teenagers were listening to, and wondered who actually listens to this mess. The answer was… they do. They love MTV, and I can not bear to watch that channel because they don’t play music anymore; MTV has evolved into shows about prima donna 16 year olds and 20 year old pseudo-rockers who are professional drug users. (That previous sentence made me feel even older). I feel as though I am loosing touch with my children. I try to stay in style, but not the cool dad, because cool dads can do more harm than good. Kids have become hyper-savvy to the ways of the world, especially my kids. To them there is more to think about than going outside to play. They have to worry about way more than scraping their knees or busting their lips. To them outside means the West Nile Virus, Amber Alerts and a Terror Alert stuck on yellow, not fun and exploration. With that I will sit and watch them grow up as I hold on to my Allman Brothers music and diet Coke filled with peanuts and try not to rust away.



Sheila said...

Well, dang. You did it again. Great post! Parents today have to work to stay close to their kids. So many parents are working incredible hours to keep the family afloat financially. I can see that electronic babysitting is keeping the kids busy, but what are they learning? The elders are losing touch, and the ways and wisdom will be lost if we are not careful.

By the way, this Baby Boomer had her own set of fears growing up: the Nuclear destruction of all I held dear. I still remember the silly duck and cover drills and my mom kept an emergency evac booklet in her car since she worked for the government.

ladyday334 said...

Now my son you know how I feel. When I remember how you use go through the woods to get to the swimming pool. Or ride your bike too fast down the hill. Or be out side to catch fireflies. Times are a changing.