My son just went to Six Flags. His Spring Break has been all about studying for his lifeguard certification, and not a whole lot of fun. So I am glad he got to do something fun today.
I spent some time with him yesterday, going over the stuff in the lifeguard handbook. He seems to know it.
I know far more about blood-borne pathogens than I ever wanted to know. Oh well.
When I was a kid and taking first aid classes, we gave mouth-to-mouth. Nowadays, you have to put a weird looking thing over the victim's mouth in case they have a disease. Wow.
The book also talks about legal consent for assisting someone in an emergency. So lawyers wrote a bit of the manual.
That got me thinking to how to world has changed since I was 17.
I never heard the phrase "Lawyer up" until I was grown.
I never wore a bike helmet.
I never used hand sanitizer, but Mom always carried Handi-Wipes in her purse.
I never called a grownup anything but "Mr./Mrs./Miss" unless they gave me permission, and even then it felt weird.
Everything sent home by the school was in one language, English. Everyone I knew had parents at home that spoke English, even the immigrant families in our neighborhood.
I feel kinda bad about not being able to go on a beach trip over spring break. I don't think we did that but a few times when I was a kid. I never really cared. Michael hasn't said a word about it.
If you had told me when I was 17 that my 17 year old children would have cell phones, I would've laughed. A tiny computer you can hold in your hand? That also takes photos and gives you directions and is a stopwatch, etc etc.??! Bull****!
I rode a bike everywhere and I expected that sometimes there would be steep hills and I'd have to just walk. Michael was at a friend's house yesterday and failed to allow enough time to get home for dinner. He kept texting me saying "I have to WALK the bike!" - like it was some great tragedy. Then he got home and complained bitterly about being tired. I was glad I encouraged him to bike and not drive but wow, didn't expect all that whining...
As a teenager, I woke up every morning to my dad throwing the door to my room open, flipping on the lights, and bellowing "BOOTS IN SADDLES 6 AM!!!" On weekends, he was more subtle. He said "Sleep as late as you want!" the night before, and then mowed the lawn or weed whacked right outside my bedroom window. At 7 a.m.
I wake Michael by turning on the light and patting his leg and saying "Time to get up Sweetie!" Then I repeat that phrase every 5 minutes for the next 20 minutes. Finally, he drags himself out of the bed, when he hears the note of panic in my voice. I wait patiently while he showers for a half hour and then complains when the water gets cold. Then I have to beg him to eat breakfast, about half the time.
Dad would've said "Get up and get your breakfast or you can WALK to school." He didn't believe in coddling his kids.
Ironically, whenever my brother asks Michael to do something, it's done instantly, no questions asked.
Michael has probably two dozen pairs of shorts and a dozen pairs of long pants, and maybe 20-35 shirts. (I have a generous cousin who sends her son's hand-me-downs.) I had maybe 2-3 pairs of jeans, a few shirts, and a couple of church outfits, at any given time when I was a teenager.
I have to harass Michael to wear sunscreen. When I was a teen my mother said "Wear Sea & Ski or you'll burn." That was it. If we burned, oops, too bad. Take an aspirin and put some lotion on it and quit whining.
[Michael is a really good kid, BTW, don't mean to imply otherwise... I just think it's interesting to note how things have changed...]
We didn't have a microwave oven until I was a freshman in college. That first one was as big as a VW and had a 500 page manual. Only Mother read it. The rest of us just cooked everything into rubber until we learned better.
My dad bought his first riding lawn mower after Bruce went to college. Bruce was always a little bitter about that...
Fast food was a treat we seldom had. Dinner was on the table, cooked from scratch, every night, and we ate as a family. Activities were not allowed to interfere.
We had to taste everything, at least one bite. We also had to ask permission to leave the table, and put our dishes in the sink. Bruce and I took turns doing the dishes after dinner.
I remember learning about a game called "soccer" when I was in high school and thinking, "You can't use your hands?! This will never catch on!"
I didn't realize it until years later when I saw it on a colorful cocktail napkin, but this was the actual law in our house, as it should have been:
If Mama ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy!