Growing up in Farmington Hills, MI, I lived 9 houses away from Forest Elementary School. My favorite part of the year was called Outdoor Ed, where we had outdoor adventures like hiking on nature trails and finding bugs and plants and collecting leaves and tracing them with crayons.
Gone are the days of simple activities in school, replaced with computer labs and IPads in many classrooms. Kids use wikipedia for assignments, computerized math homework, and no one knows how to use the card catalog system at the library. I, however, refuse to accept this. We pulled Sam out of his first elementary school in AZ because the principal wouldn’t allow teaching of cursive, calling it outdated.
All this instant gratification doesn’t help people like me who have zero patience or attention span. Why do the people in front of me at the Starbucks and or Taco Bell drive through have so much trouble ordering? Have they never been there before? Why do the people at nail places say they can take you in 5 minutes when it’s really 45? The phrase “please have a seat, the doctor will see you shortly” completely pisses me off. I don’t want to wait an hour in a white room, naked with the flap open in the back, for an hour! And time to update that one Cosmopolitan magazine in the room from 2006!
I think I used to be much calmer, but now I like everything to occur IMMEDIATELY. I blame the invention of the Polaroid camera. (I can see the picture right now ??? wow!)
This is common with my own kids too who say “why do we always have to wait?”, 5 minutes after we order food. I would also like to take this time to ponder when McDonalds play areas added computers? Weren’t the ball pits filled with boogars and throw up sufficient for a good time?
This past week I was home in AZ for my kids field day, and I was pleasantly surprised to see tug of war, hula hooping, relay races, and the best old fashioned Brady Bunch era game, potato sack races. No video game trucks or inflatable sumo wresting, but playing with fun stuff like rope.
And I peeked in on Aidan in preschool, who was playing with old fashioned soapy water and bubbles (which is different from their daily learning on the Smartboard, which is an electronic version of the chalkboard). Chalk is so 1980s.
Sam engaged in his own history mission, touring Philly with his aunt and uncle and Addams Family cast and crew. For school, they saw the Liberty Bell, museums, and the Declaration of Independence (signed in, you know, cursive).
I tried to bond with my dog Cosmo all week, by letting him sit with me while I played on my IPad. But, finally, I took him on an 1.5 hour walk and fed him a few meals, and, what do you know, he was my buddy again. Which just confirms that dogs are very much like men. If you let them exercise and feed them, they will love you.
I also enjoyed a lunch with a few friends where the chit chat always turns to what creams and lotions we are using to make us look younger. I discussed my anti cellulite cream and my anti wrinkle cream, while I learned about different potions and procedures to make bags under our eyes go away.
On my favorite mode of transportation today, the airplane, I am thinking of how much I would like to freeze time. To freeze the world’s progress, to get back my high school face and body, and to keep my kids at ages 4, 9 and 11. But, I know that change in the world is helpful and new technology helps save lives. I know that all these stretch marks and age spots are a sign that, while I am not 18, I am still here. And I know that within 2 months, all 3 will have birthdays and I will have a 12, 10 and 5 year old.
There are no ice cream trucks where we live. No hanging outside for hours with friends waiting for that ice cream truck song. If we want ice cream, we hop in the car and go get one. Where I live, there is one on every corner. And we fill own cups with yogurt and add our own toppings. Why wait for someone to scoop it?
Well, as quoted from Eddie Murphy above in Raw, those moments from the ice cream truck days were hilarious, especially when someone dropped one. Will our kids remember hanging outside waiting for anything?
Probably just for the UPS guy to bring them the stuff they ordered online, yesterday.