Saturday Evenin' Post

As I sit in my living room on this Saturday evening, feet up, laptop warming my lap and two fingers of Ron Zacapa (23 year old Guatemalan rum, the world's best) at hand, I am prompted, after reading the comments from yesterday's post, to reflect on the changes that make things so different for my sons, from what they were for me.

We had a whole neighborhood of kids of approximate age. My kids have had very few kids nearby near their age.

When we wanted someone to come out and play, we walked over to the front of their house and yelled for them. "Yo Bah Bee", and then Bobby would come out. My kids call on the phone and ask their friends to come over. Because no one plays outside.

We had tiddly winks, chess, checkers and Sorry. And Monopoly. My kids have World of Warcraft and other games played on computer or game console.

We used to sit outside under the street lamp on warm summer nights and tell each other ghost stories. My kids text, chat and talk to each other online over their game systems.

We had dictionaries and encyclopedias. My kids have the Internet.

We had one TV in the house. I NEVER got to watch anything I wanted, except on Saturday morning, when my Dad would watch Johnny Mack Brown westerns with me. My kids live in a house with 6 TVs, countless computer screens, 4 DVD players, 3 VHS tape systems and 2 TIVOs. They get to watch anything they want, whenever they want. Except porn. I'm the only one allowed to watch porn. I guess the operative phrase is 'allowed'.

Thus my sons live in a different world than I did. I wonder who will look back on a better childhood. Me or them.


Sandy C. said...

It is such a different world these days. My childhood sounds very similar to yours and less like your kids'. I often wonder what my daughter's childhood will consist of. I'm not sure if any of them are better. Maybe just different :)

witchypoo said...

You. It's not what we wanted for our kids, is it?

Anonymous said...

I take Ian to the library, because I can.

Elizabeth said...

I try to incorporate much of what I had as a kid into my own children's experience. I picked up a Sit N Spin from a garage sale, one like I had as a kid, because I didn't want to buy one from the store with all the bells and whistles on it. They have played with wooden blocks and Chutes and Ladders and video games. They watch animated/CGI kids films and old Tom and Jerry cartoons. They play on swing sets and in sandboxes but I won't let them play in the front yard without mom or dad watching. I won't even let the girls play out in the backyard by themselves if I'm in the shower; they need to come inside. I wish we lived in a world where I could let my kids roam the neighborhood, calling on their friends to come out and play, but this world isn't what it was.

Kelley said...

Mine was similar to yours. And I lived in the middle of the city. My kids spend most of their time on the computer talking to their friends or at massive sleepovers (usually here) where 10 or more kids get together. And text other kids...

Somehow I am thinking my childhood was more exciting.

Andreamuse said...

Well, I know that I was never allowed to watch television growing up (and also my dad hogged the one t.v. in the house) and I think my childhood WAS much richer for it. I *gasp* played outside all the time, I played with friends, I had imagination. I remember going to a friend's house and she was allowed to watch t.v. and I was always bored stiff!

Hyphen Mama said...

Yep, that made me homesick!

We rode our bikes everywhere. We lived a mile or so outside town and rode our bikes or walked to our friends houses. We caught fish in a bucket in the creek behind our house. We rode snowmobiles in the horse pasture.

Even though Atari technology was out there, we had some cheapo knock-off that played ONE tennis type game on our old black and white tv. My parents didn't have a tv with a remote until about 5 years ago. We got a microwave when I was a senior in high school... 1990.

I cannot IMAGINE letting my kids run free in our neighborhood. Not without a GPS chip in their head.

The Intracerebral Itinerary said...

I'm so glad that, even though my kids have internet access and cable TV, they also play outside quite a bit- and of course there's Arielle's involvement in the Thespian Society,and Ana hopping around the country with friends and/ or family every chance she gets. I'm kind of worried about Mekare, though. We need to find her a hobby outside the house- she's been watching WAY too much TV.

warriorwoman said...

your childhood sounds great. mine was similiar as well.

I think maybe holodeck technology is next. hope I live to see it.
I wouldn't mind travel to distant planets and their worlds as well. maybe in my next incarnation on earth.

LceeL said...

Sandy: Different, yes. And the Peanut is lucky in her choice of mothers.

witchypoo: Not really. But they DO have some things better than I did. That's what most parents strive for, isn't it? To give their kids better than they got?

ABritDifferent: Siobhan, thanks for stopping by. The library - always cool and dark during the school year - but somehow cool and bright during the summer and oh, so quiet. 'Cause nobody was there.

Elizabeth: It's really not any more dangerous than it always was. It's just that now we are so much 'better' informed. Some little kid goes missing in Foulmouth, Arkansas and the whole country knows about it, instantly. That never used to be. We all lived in a cocoon of isolation and little knowledge.

Kelley: From the time I was 12 'til 14 or so, I rode my bike all over Chicago - and I mean EVERYWHERE. I don't think a kid could do that today.

andreamuse: We had kids who were bored no matter what we did. Play baseball. "I'm bored, let's do something else." "Okay, what do you want to do?" "I dunno, what do YOU want to do?"

hyphen mama: See the replies to Elizabeth and Kelley. It's just a question of how tough the neighborhood is.

T.I.I.: (I'm sorry, but my fingers have too much trouble with 'intracerebral') Good job. Socialization of our kids is so much more difficult today. theater groups and extra-familial travel are GREAT, but not accessible to everyone. You kids are so very lucky - to have you and to have those circumstances available.

warriorwoman: OMG, where have you been? And yes, hopefully the next incarnation will happen after people get to be a little smarter about living together.

Allison said...

Despite the large generation span (have I mentioned my parents are as old as you are?), my childhood was indeed quite a bit like yours. I try to limit my kids as much as I can. However, she gets to watch quite a bit more tv than I ever did. Usually because I'm here on the computer. And my mom used to spend a lot of time sitting on her butt watching tv, so she had the control of it until dad got home (and still her house stayed a lot cleaner than ours. But then we have more stuff...:-|).

I've often mussed over the fact that I used to be able to ride my bike all over the place (almost) here in town, but now I won't hardly let my daughter ride or walk half a block from here without us! (and I hate to say it but I got a conformation of why that's a good idea just about half an hour ago. But I'm raising the kid right because she did just what she was supposed to! Go me!)