Tuesday, January 4, 2011

such a busy generation

Today I paid respects to a friend's passing of his Father. This Father was 89. He lived an American dream. However, he has missed his dear wife for nearly two years. He was no longer a happy gentleman, but a sad old man. Even though he was surrounded by family that loved him so. Go here A Lovely Catholic Funeral to see the posting I did on his wife's funeral.
Dominic's funeral will be tomorrow. I am sure just as lovely.

His Sister-In-Law, is a woman I have adored for many years. She is elderly, but sharp and charming as ever. She is a good catholic woman. Loving and dear. I was very pleased to see her and have an opportunity to chat with her, this evening. She always has a good story to tell me of my Hubby, who practically grew up in her house. Even with many children, she always welcomed the neighborhood kids. Sergio (Hubby) ate many meals and slept many nights at their home.

Our childhoods were a different time. To us growing up, our days and evenings consisted of playing outside in the sun, rain, or snow. We loved it. Kickball, Ghost in the Graveyard, Hide N Seek. We would have water fights, ride our bikes for miles and hours, build forts, and staying overnight at friends.

Even as we got older and cooler. We hung out together. My neighborhood was full of parents that I listened too same as my own. Hubby too. The parents all looked out for us and were never afraid to tell us when we were screwing up. No one "minded their own business", as to the neighborhood, IT WAS every body's business.

Today's generation, kids are too busy. I rarely see kids playing outside in our kid-friendly neighborhood. Never in a pack as we. Occasions bike riders, roller bladers, or dog walkers, but these kids are plugged into cell phones and music players wrapped in a solo world.

They also seem to be loosing the art of communication.  Sure, I know they have cell phones and gadgets and text all the time. They tweet too much personal information. They post pictures they may regret later. They have over 1,000 friends on Facebook. But, do they still have a real conversation?

Back too my dear elderly friend... while chatting with her, I brought up her grandchildren. She got sad mentioning one of them.  Seems this young woman (she's 20) is very busy. My friend hasn't seen her in such a while. She sent a Christmas card with some money, but hasn't heard from her.... she knows she's busy...just misses her so.  My elderly friend is about 90. Her Grandchildren do not realize how blessed they are to have this bright, funny woman with the best Italy and Indiana stories. I fear it will be too late before they realize it.

Makes me think of my own daughters. They too are so busy. They have been home for three weeks. They have less than one week left before heading back to classes. They have visited with both sets of Grandparents, but once, and briefly. They try to cram lunches and visits with friends, particularly the ones that do not go to the same colleges. However, they spend more time with their BSU friends than anyone else. (In fairness to my oldest, I do appreciate that she does give Hubby & I a lot of her time, and has graced us with her wonderful cooking skills quite a bit. But, she has no intention of setting foot in that retirement home on her own. Meanwhile, the youngest is gone a lot, in fact she is staying with her BSU roommate three hours away now).

I guess my point is, what will the next generation be like? I mean, my parents generation did many things with their parents, my generation did too but outside with them overlooking. My daughters generation continues to get overstimulated with gadgets and over-exposing themselves to everyone except those family members. What will I see with my own Grandchildren one day? I cherish my memories of time spent with my grandparents. Will they care about spending precious time with me?

I really hope so.


Anonymous said...


It's a keen observation you make. I have a son who is in his late teens, and got into some serious substance dependency over the last year. It's as bad as a parent could imagine.

As we think about about how we got 'here' as a family, we realize we were no doubt blind or naive as parents at times. But our kids' desire for independence, coupled with the power of the technology and gadgets available, made it harder to detect. The good news is he is in recovery, and we are hopeful.

What I wanted to share is that after he was out of his rehab, we 'accidentally' rediscovered the simple joy of sitting around the dinner table at night and playing cards as a family.

The point was to find a vehicle which pulled us together as a family and helped us communicate a little better--but this has been nothing short of magical. The game of Hearts has been the most popular (though they are asking about re-learning Euchre, which I taught them many years ago). I stick my iPod in the speakers, hit a playlist with some quiet jazz and oldies (Sinatra-type stuff, like our parents used to listen to), and to my astonishment within minutes, I find we are talking about music, old & new, telling and re-telling old family stories, exchanging ideas about life, religion, buying cars, football teams, colleges--it's been a surprising and therapeutic discovery. Especially for a family in crisis...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts--sometimes simplicity is better.

Tina G said...

I just stumbled on to your blog and have enjoyed reading it. Looking forward to reading more!
You have a new follower.

Linda said...

I wonder the very same things, Janis. Such an excellent, thought-provoking post!!

Love to you,

Fire Byrd said...

Do you know I did bring my children up to know what is right and wrong. But try to get them to write or visit with my ex's parents who have always been kind to them is such a non starter. So it's me the very estranged ex who writes the chatty letter keeping the grandparents up with the news.
Thes sons are 25 and they always talk about doing the deeds but some missing brain synapse between talk and doing goes on in their minds.

janis said...

Thank you Anonymous, Gina, Linda, & Fire Byrd. I appreciate your kind words as well as sharing your own stories.
I too tried hard with my girls, but I still am amazed at the lack of their understanding what I mean about communication. They think an email thank you is just as good as a hand written or stopping by to thank.
Today kids all have gadgets and gizmos in their hands at all time.
Welcome to my blog Tina G♥

Julie Harward said...

Much of what you say here is true, I feel bad about the little ones not knowing how to play, use their imaginations. They are always plugged in! I think what will make the difference is when they become parents themselves. Gee God was smart wasn't he, putting us in families :D