Last Friday night my oldest (10 yrs old) and I were sitting in traffic. There was an accident up ahead and that combined with the Friday night football traffic gave us time to talk on several different topics. One of them had me laughing and realizing that yes indeed, times have changed.
We were sitting in our newest vehicle, the 2011 Chevy Camaro I purchased last November. While discussing the various features of the car, my son asked what was different between the 2011 Camaro and my first car, a 1977 Camaro. We talked about engines and exhaust, which is how the topic started, by looking at the exhaust on a car sitting in front of us,
We then started talking about other features. I told him that the interior was very different and that my ‘77 didn’t have digital readouts, additional gauges, and power windows. He commented on the fact that he would have missed the heated seats (he really likes the heated seats) and that he had never seen windows you had to crank.
It made me laugh and then realize that he was right, he probably had never seen a car without electric windows. Past my nostalgic feeling, I realized that times change. I recall hearing stories of kids asking what the cord coming out of grandma’s phone is? As technology changes, so do our experiences and expectations. It is a fact of life.
So what do we do? We can tell the classic “Back in My Day” stories, with or without embellishments involving walking to school in the snow, up hill in both directions. But more or less, we move on. We share what is important and accept what is different and explain what was when it was. Yes, there was a day when we didn’t have cable or movies on tapes (forget about DVDs) and so forth. But don’t expect to get more than a nod of acceptance for these facts from our kids. There world is different and full or today, not yesterday.
So laugh and enjoy their perspective every now and then. If you are digging through old stuff in the attic, take time to explain the old tech and perhaps it will make them further enjoy how they have it in modern times. And if you are passing a junk yard, think about stopping and letting them crank a window or two.