If you are like most people, this time of year you are taking a few minutes to pause and reflect on all that you are thankful for.
I certainly have a long list myself.
But I put mine on hold for a minute and made a list for my kids! Because kids don’t know how good they have it today, right!?
Ok, ok…I understand this puts me one step from telling my children that I had to walk to school barefoot in the snow…uphill…both ways. But here it goes anyway.
10 things kids today should be thankful for:
1. Remote controls – When I was a kid…I was the remote control. If it was time to change the channel to one of the other three options, I was getting up and walking across the room to turn the dial. (Yes, kids, TVs had dials!)
2. DVR – Speaking of TV…Back in the day you got one shot to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas…ONE! If you missed it, see you in 365 days, buddy!
3. Canned corn (and other grocery store vegetables) – Oh, the convenience! Everything is ready to heat and serve. We had to shuck our own corn when I was a kid…and corn does not like to be shucked. It tries to stay attached to that husk like it’s Leonardo DiCaprio holding on to Kate Winslet after the Titanic went down. We also had to snap beans, dig potatoes, shell peas…
4. Throwback Thursday – I had to assume my parents were goofballs when they were kids. Today, kids have proof! Have you seen your mom’s 1980’s big hair?? And how your dad tight-rolled his green Girbaud jeans in the 8th grade?? That Christmas shirt your parents want you to wear doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?
5. Ice makers – I think I filled 8,549,234 ice trays in my day. I do not like filling ice trays…which is why I always intentionally left one ice cube in a tray. Hey, it’s not empty! Can’t fill it yet! (Sorry, Mom!)
6. GPS navigation – There was a time when you had to stop and ask a total stranger for directions. I know! Barbaric. There was no Siri. If a trip was supposed to take 3 hours…you could tack on an extra hour for being lost…especially in my family. To my dad, stopping for directions was a sign of defeat! Even if we’d never been somewhere before…he knew the way!
7. Google – Kids today get to fact-check their parents. I was suspicious of some of my parents’ answers, but had no proof! Oh, and term papers. Term papers! I still have nightmares about catalog cards from the library. They have arms and legs and chase me around…Alice in Wonderland style…trying to take the dimes I desperately need to pay for each photo copy.
8. Auto correct (& Spellcheck) – Yes, occasionally it makes you text your wife “I loathe you” instead of “I love you,” but this is a lifesaver. No fretting over “i before e except after c”…unless it’s vein or freight or neither or eight…Oh, and that term paper won’t come crashing down because the typewriter didn’t give you a heads up that you typed “Gripes of Wrath” 17 times.
9. Instant photography – It used to take a week for your mom to know if you ruined the holiday picture she couldn’t wait to take…because your eyes were closed or your fly was unzipped or you put bunny ears behind your sister’s head. Stephen Jones! Uh oh…that moment can’t be recreated! Now, you know right away and can snap 100 different versions before the family leaves town. Plus, there’s more room in the freezer for ice cream without all that film taking up so much space!
10. Hand wipes (aka moist towelettes) – We didn’t have these when I was a kid, at least not a my house. But we did have the recipe to make our own! Mix 1 tissue with your mom’s saliva. It would clean chocolate off of your face anytime, anywhere, in front of anyone! #Embarrassing
Man..the luxuries these kids have today!
The truth is, I secretly liked all these things…the old ways. They all contributed in a small way to who I am today. And I love to tell stories about them.
Although things have changed quite dramatically, there are more than enough opportunities to make memories with your kids, to shape stories they’ll tell as adults.
So don’t dwell on “the good ol’ days.” Embrace today! In fact, make today a good ol’ day!
…because those short 936 weeks you have with your kids are moving fast!
You can start by giving your kids a spit bath in front of all their friends…it builds character!
I'd like to hear from from you! What would you add to the list? What do your kids think about the way we used to do these things? You can leave a comment by clicking here.