One of my little granddaughter’s favorite places to go is Party City. She does love a party, and enjoys looking at all the colorful stuff for sale. It’s become one of “our” places. We get a buggy and walk the aisles slowly. I let her put anything she wants in the basket. “You can put it in the cart; we’ll decide about it later,” I tell her. This way I don’t have to argue with her all through the store and it is fun rather than a fight.
We try on crazy sunglasses and hats and take lots of selfies. It’s a great place for entertainment. The price of admission is free, but it can cost you a pretty penny to leave. When it does become time to decide what we’re going to buy, I have to intervene quite a bit. “Decisions are hard!” Breezy tells me. Indeed they are!
One day while checking out, Breezy, who is four years old, noticed the woman at the next register was buying plates, napkins, balloons, and the like. “Are you having a party?” she asked the lady. “Yes,” she replied, “my son is turning 16 years old tomorrow. It wasn’t that long ago when he was little like you.” Breezy asked, “Oh? When did he grow up?” The woman chuckled and said wistfully, “it seems like just yesterday.” As we gathered our purchases to leave Breezy said to the lady, “Tell your husband I said hello. Tell him Breezy said hello.” She smiled and replied, “I sure will sweetie.”
Breezy had no idea the depth of the question she asked when she inquired, “When did he grow up?” Here was my precious grand baby having adult-like conversations and asking gut-wrenching questions, when just yesterday she was sitting in a bouncey-chair trying to pull the socks off her little feet.
I was talking with my daughter-in-law the other day and she was telling me about how difficult it is to raise children. You hope you are doing the right things for them, but undoubtedly everyone makes mistakes, or does something they wish they could do over another way, from time to time. “Absolutely,” I replied. I don’t pretend to be an expert on child-rearing. I’m a book knowledge person who has studied a lot of psychology, sociology, social-psychology, human growth and development, and education. I never raised a child.
But, what I do know to be the truth, particularly from being a lifetime college educator, is that our children and young adults are our future; they are the tomorrow of society. These precious young people deserve our time, love, and attention.
Generation after generation adults say the world is going to ‘hell in a hand basket’ and it’s these darn kids’, or teenagers’, or millennials’ or gen-xers’ fault. Of course, the Greatest Generation didn’t hold out too much hope for us Boomers and we turned out pretty well, thanks mostly to the adoration from our parents.
I don’t know where I’m going with this, except to say that in every generation of college students I work with I see hope for the future. Day after day I interact with great young people and it lets me know that the world is going to be OK.
And Breezy is naturally the best example to me that our little ones are filled with great potential. So, love them, spend time with them, and shower them with positive attention. Our children are our future. Quite frankly, I think we’re going to be just fine!
PS Happy Birthday to Breezy who will be 5 later this week. 😉