Friday, March 14th, 2014
3 years, 3 months.
This week I happened to read a really cool article that is going viral right now, called “Things I Did As A Kid (But My Kids Won’t)“, by Amber Dusick.
She explains how parents born in the 1980s, such as myself, were basically the last generation of children to enjoy no seat belts, no helmets, no childproofing, flying attempts, (certain) playground equipment, sledding, and freedom.
What I see that all 7 of the things have in common is that they all are related to safety.
In other words, if I raised you by the same standards of safety that were okay in 198os in the mountains of Alabama when and where I grew up, I would be considered (by some, at least) as a bad parent.
That sounds weird to say because in no way is it to discredit the parents who raised Generation Y; it’s just that things are a lot different now.
Out of the 7 things that Amber Dusick describes in her article, the one that jumps out to me as the most valuable is… freedom:
“Perhaps the most striking contrast is the freedom I remember having. I’d eat breakfast and then leave.
I’d wander around. Aimlessly. Sometimes with neighborhood kids and sometimes alone. I’d cross our creek with homemade bridges. And catch turtles without ever hearing of the word Salmonella.
I’d put roller skates on and skate down sidewalks. And stop myself by crashing into a bush, just before the street.
I never stopped to eat lunch. Because I remember being out all day long. Only to be called in for dinner when it was getting dark.
My kids? Yeah, right. At least not until they are older. Like thirty.”
During my own childhood, I had the privilege of riding my bike, as well as my moped, through nearby neighborhoods. I explored the woods with my friends. I went around shooting my BB gun at power poles and metal fences.
I totally know what the author means when she refers to wandering around aimlessly as a kid. I loved doing that!
Almost seems almost like taboo now.
I want you to be able to have the kind of adventurous boyhood I had, and you will, just in a different format… somehow.
We’ll have to make a few changes, but we’ll find a way to make it work.
Even then, it’s hard to imagine you ever wandering around in the woods like I did. Double standard, I know.
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Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
Ironically, while waiting for my first child to be born I am accompanied by thoughts of the finality of my own life. Having a baby is such a huge milestone, such a life-changing event, that my mind skips decades ahead to when my kid will graduate high school, to when I will be a grandparent, and ultimately, to my inevitable passing into eternity. In my mind, all those big events are strung together like bubbly Christmas lights from 1988.
My wife and I have this agreement that concerning our own inevitable deaths, we will die healthy but of “natural causes” in our sleep, both at age 92, holding hands. And I would assume that most happily married people would wish for the same thing- to be able to raise their children with their spouse, to grow old with their family, and to pass this life in our right minds – not lonely and suffering in a nursing home. I don’t consider a sudden brain aneurism, a car accident, or being mauled by a bear while hiking through the woods. No, you see, I have carefully planned out my own “natural causes” death in a romantic and perfect way.
And that’s the only way I can think about the end of my life- with optimism. Assuming I will live a long, happy life, giving all I can to my family. It’s the only way I can think, because even now, two months before Baby Jack is scheduled to arrive, I am responsible for another life. I have to be here to take care of him. And my wife.
I truly am incapable of trying to fathom how so many people in the world don’t have a solid understanding (or at least some kind of basic perspective) of what happens after this life, and that they don’t think about it on a daily basis like I do. How the afterlife is completely something to be considered, how beyond heaven and hell issues, this dream of life is the prequel to eternity. And now, already, a new soul has been created, and I had something to do with that. I have changed the course of eternity.
This baby is not just a body; he’s got a soul. A soul that will need guidance for this life and the eternal one. And I have to be here for that. Even if these thoughts may seem dark and depressing to some, I refuse to ignore the reality that life and death are intertwined. As much as I “try not to take life too seriously” like all those stupid bumper stickers and annoying e-mail forwards tell me, I still take life seriously enough to think about this stuff.
All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:
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