Tuesday, March 17, 2009


There was so much I wanted to talk about today. Cripes. So many thoughts, so little time. I've been thinking quite a bit about aging lately. And how different things are for Riley than they were for me. I think quite drastically more different than measuring the difference between my mother's time growing up and my own. Partly because she had me when she was around 24 or 25 and I had Riley when I was 42. At times I found today so darned hard. Mind you, I am running on about four hours of sleep today so that did contribute to those feelings. I couldn't help but think how demanding our lives are and how much we are expected to keep on top of, respond to. Most jobs, beyond the strictly physical ones, require email, cell phones, databases and multi-tasking to a ridiculous degree and keeping on top of it all and up to date, not to mention getting the actual work done. Today was one of those days I found it all so daunting. Wondering what kind of legacy we are leaving the younger generations. Needing to do more and faster. At some point the human being is just going to pop.

While I was out walking the dogs tonight, all of this was churning in my brain, especially the part about the younger generations. Riley is more adept with the remote control for the digital satellite tv than I am. When I was growing up we had two channels - once we got tv, that is. It was a small black and white set and when it first arrived, all the neighbors came in our apartment to admire it. Our two channels - CBC and CTV - did not play 24 hours a day. I can't remember what times of day they signed on and off but if there was no broadcast, all we would see is the CBC Indian, which looked like a line drawing of a profile of an native Indian in headdress. One of my grandmothers, who lived in an apartment down the hall and who often babysat me could sometimes pull in NBC if the weather was calm. And that too, did not broadcast all the time. When nothing was on, literally nothing was on that channel either except for the NBC peacock. Can you fondly remember Mr. Dressup, Johnny Jelly Bean, Gentle Giant, Chez Helene, Romper Room, Ed Sullivan, Smothers Brothers, Bonanza, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie?

I tell myself that I balance my son's life with plenty of physical activity. A good part of the year we are outside. He takes or has taken skating, swimming and music lessons. This summer I will sign him up for soccer. But I've always made sure we aren't so busy that we don't stop and just be, enjoy simple times like bug catching and going on picnics, nature walks etc. But it's a struggle and a battle because it's so easy to turn on the tv or let him play computer games.

Summer has always been my favorite time of year. I love the heat, sweating, wearing light clothes and sandals or going barefoot. I like the smells and the colors and the energy from the life outside. But for some reason this spring is really stirring me up. I find myself enjoying it for what it is, without the anticipation of the summer, without thinking about it as the stepping stone toward my favorite season. And I think it all ties into how much I have been thinking about the aging process. (More on that another time, soon.)

Here's my boy, telling us how he scored a goal in the soccer game in gym class today and won the game:


Beth said...

I do remember those days – less TV, more playing outside without supervision, more reading, more conversation – a slower pace. And children’s lives have even changed since my boys were young – that’s how fast change is taking place!
Do keep Riley involved in extra-curricular activities – even if it’s just one he becomes passionate about. It serves them well in their teen years – keeps them focused and out of trouble. And those outings? He’ll always remember them.
I think it’s been a long hard winter for many of us – hence the excitement and joy at the arrival of this spring like weather.
And how do we keep going on so little sleep?

Long comment – lots to ponder from your post.

Snap said...

I do remember Ed Sullivan, Buster Brown, Howdy Dody ... the peacock, the tiny screen on the black and white tv. Simpler days. Good for you for cutting down the tv time. That's time for holding a book and reading or walking the dogs or building a fort. Magic time ... creative time. I don't think kids get enough *make something from this cardboard box* ... everything is done for them or electronic. Ah, well ... granny on her high horse here! Glad he's feeling better. Hope you catch up on your sleep. Corned beef? I do know folks who make their own (I'm not one of them) ... basically a beef brisket with lots of spices.

Brenda said...

You were a thoughtful bunny on your walk, weren't you. Life is different now to back when we were kids - children were more free to be children back then. Life is busy, rushed and we cram so much into it that time flies by. On the days we slow down and just be, it is like is used to be - there aren't enough of those days though. All of the modern technologies and inventions designed to save time have done that but instead we have replaced those things with more commitments - children are out every night of the week with extra-curricular activities - they lead busier social lives than adults! I'm surprised more children don't suffer from burn-out actually. I also believe my own childhood was so much better than my own children's, so much more creative, doing more with a lot less, no TV, computers, etc. to trap us indoors. Mum had a rule - if it was a nice day it was outside to play. The neighbourhood was full of children on similar ages, there were miles of fields and vacant land, children were safe back then and left home for hours at a time. So different to how it is today. I could go on, and on, and on, haha, how much space does blogspot let you use to leave a commment? Oh, the no TV bit, we couldn't afford one, not that they weren't around (black and white).

oreneta said...

One of the things we need to teach our children, and I continue to struggle with myself, is how to manage and balance the sheer number of options we have....how to find a balance between all the things we and they have to do...