Life Lessons, Parenting, Ranting, Social Media, Uncategorized

Things I Miss.

I complain about social media a lot. And I complain about technology and all of the negative aspects of it.

I also spend approximately 80% of my day on my technology or social media.

It’s a complex, toxic, love/hate relationship, right?

But, seriously. I see how problematic it is and I see how beneficial it is.

It especially worries me for my child’s generation. I fear we’re creating a generation of zombies and dumbasses since these neat little gadgets have become our children’s babysitters (and I am guilty AF).

So, this got me thinking. My childhood was so much less complex and so much more boring.

I miss…

…the days of staying outside and playing until the fireflies told us to go home.

…the days when the terms “helicopter parent” and “social anxiety” weren’t widely known or acknowledged.

…the days of having a phone plugged into the wall and the cord would be all stretched out from trying to walk from room to room.

…the days of Super Mario Bros. being the only form of screen time.

…the days when MTV actually played music videos and The Real World had actual content of college kids making something of themselves, discussing real world issues, instead of just getting wasted drunk and fucking.

…the days of simple seated portraits being an acceptable form of photography, opposed to all of these fancy locations with the wind having to blow in the right direction.

…the days of cell phone minute packages so we actually had to care about how much time we spent on the phone. (I had an Erikson and then a Nokia, FYI.)

…the days of writing notes in class and folding them in the most creative ways possible.

…the days before texting was a thing and people actually had to speak so things weren’t lost in translation.

…the days of not knowing where someone was because they didn’t have a cell phone yet.

…the days of spelling things out with numbers on beepers.

…the days of spending summers reading Sweet Valley High, The Babysitters Club, and Ramona books.

…the days of flannels and grunge clothes that didn’t show ass cheeks.

…the days when The Kardashians weren’t societal icons and middle school kids weren’t so concerned with make-up and lip plumpers.

…the days when rock music actually existed.

…the days when people actually had to have talent to make a healthy living instead of just playing mindless games on YouTube.

…the days when infidelity was the biggest scandal in government.

…the days when bullies actually had to be a dick to your face instead of hiding behind a keyboard, both adults and children.

…the days when selfies weren’t called selfies. They were just pictures you took with your disposable camera and hoped for the best; had them printed and then shoved them in an album.

…the days of rewinding your favorite song in that yellow Sony Walkman.

…the days of actual humorous sitcoms. (Remember T.G.I.F.??)

…the days when the most violent video game was The Legends of Zelda.

…the days of not knowing everyone’s eating, drinking, pooping habits, their political affiliation, and what inspirational quote they’re living by for today via Facebook.

…the days when we all weren’t instantly gratified by every.single.thing. because every answer to everything is in our hand.

And that’s just to name a few.

I’m starting to feel every ounce of my 40 years of age, saying things like, “Well, back in my day, we had an ETCH-A-SCKETCH and that was it!!”. But it’s true. My generation was so much better off than recent generations, I do believe. We were forced to be creative. And we even had actual books and libraries and encyclopedias. Nothing was instanious. Everything required a little bit of work. Mind blowing, right?

We just had a simpler life. Period. They were simpler times. Or so it seemed.

All of this technology is supposed to be making our lives so much better, so much more convenient, and sure, in many ways it is. I love Google Maps, instead of paper maps, and I don’t miss having to find a pay phone. But it certainly has complicated our lives in so many ways.

The irony isn’t lost on me that you’re probably reading this on your smart-technolgy, linked off of a social media site. I get it. As I stare at my child sitting on the couch watching YouTube on our TV.

I get it.

I love it just as much as the next person. I’ve relented to it, allowed it to meld right into my life, for sure.

Perhaps every generation says this, and I know it’s all relative, but I sure do miss the good ole days. I have officially reached the age of saying so.

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Parenting, Uncategorized

The Path to Independence

About 2 weeks ago, I was in the neverending pick-up window line at Chick-fil-a, by myself, spacing out, as I often do in those quiet moments between work appointments. I noticed a mom and her preteen daughter getting out of their car to head inside the restaurant. They caught my eye because the daughter was clearly upset at a her mother. Her body language was tangible and unmistakable: arms crossed, sour puss, walking briskly steps in front of her mom. Her mom caught up to her, having to get to a slight jog to do so, and attempted to put her arm around her. The daughter shrugged her off so violently with a “STOP IT!!! YOU’RE RUINING MY LIFE” declaration, loud enough for everyone within a 3 mile radius to hear.

My first thought was, “what a little bitch!”. My second thought was, “holy shit. That will be my child in 6 years or less”. That thought honestly brought panic into my soul. It isn’t that far away.

As difficult as I found the newborn, infant and toddler years to be, they really flew by. I distinctly remember secretly wanting to sucker punch any old person that said, “Cherish every moment. It flies by so fast”, when I was in the throughs of those earlier years of motherhood…but now I am beginning to understand. I might have even been the one to utter something similar to a friend who recently had a baby. The thing is, for those of you who haven’t experienced it, time seems to quadruple in speed when you have children. I’m pretty sure days go from the normal 24 hours down to 12. It’s some bizarre phenomenon.

I digress.

Anyway, independence. This awesomely wonderful and sad thing happens when your kid reaches the age of 6-7. They start to gain more independence, not just in the ” I can brush my teeth by myself” sense, but bigger. Things like what happened to me on February 18, 2016 when my daughter looked at me while I was walking her into school and said, “you can just leave me here, mom, at the cafeteria. I can walk the rest of the way to class alone”. What.in.the.hell?! I just wasn’t ready. I don’t know if any parent is ready for that exact moment of declared independence, but there I was in this stew of emotions and confusion and pride. It was a defining moment.

I read so many blog pieces about new motherhood, toddlerhood, and the teenage years, mostly with negative undertones or the “hang in there” messages in solidarity. I’ve even written a couple myself. But you don’t read many about these in-between years, say between 6-10, because the truth is, they’re pretty easy, minus the Common Core math problems. This independence that comes within these years is full of emotions, for us and for them.

These years have their own magic. As difficult as it is to accept the new level of emerging independence, it’s so beautiful and amazing to watch. As I type this, my almost-seven-year-old is searching for music videos and online games on my computer, only to ask me how to spell something once every few minutes. She’s reading fluently. She’s having these sweet conversations with me ranging from what she built in Minecraft to what college she wants to go to. She poses daunting questions of what tampons are to where babies come from. (Don’t ask me for my answers, please.) And, my absolute favorite of all- she asks me about my day, how I’m feeling, and about me. She’s becoming compassionate and becoming a giver.

Its so difficult to imagine that in a few short years she will hate me. She will. Not many preteen kids don’t hate their parents. She will be the kid in the ChickFilA parking lot claiming I’m ruling her life. It’s life. It’s parenting. As terrifying as that is, it’s part of the deal and what I signed up for.

But for now, I am cherishing every moment, every random old person that ever said that to me. I’m truly embracing the independence, just choking back tears every now and then.