October 02, 2007

Generation C I G A R

Apparently I'm a Generation Xer. And I'm told that's not a compliment. They say the last Generation to make a real positive impact on this world was the Baby Boomer Generation. They were the soldiers and the Peace rallyers and also the hippies, peace and Free love generations. Apparently as an X'er I'm : Spoiled, cynical, question authority, Free loading off my parents, Can't get or keep a job, live in the now and will end up homeless and broke when I'm older. That's the label for Generation X.

And apparently the Generation behind us.... is called Generation Y. It must stand for "Y am I so rude? Y do I have to get good grades in school when I can just sit at home all day? Y do I have to go out side and play, I have my x box. Y can't I just get a job on a computer since that's what I do all day anyway?"

This generation, also selfish, disrespectful, more politically educated, and technological geniuses. They have little if any work ethic. They yearn for good role models to look up to. They grew up too fast because they basically had slacker parents that gave them too much, never taught them patience or required discipline.

I read stuff like that and of course as an Xer I get pissed off. I've had my current job for over 12 years, My daughter is an honor student not hooked or addicted to x box, nintendo or mtv. I haven't lived with either parent since the age of 19 although they do help out once in a while when things have been tight. She does go out and play, is physically active and not some slug or scrub. But perhaps what gets me most about being a Generation Xer is the truthfullness of what is being described. I would like to describe myself as an old school black mama! There's no TV's, VCR's, DVD players or Computers in my or my daughters bedroom. As a family we have to learn to share those things and get along compromising. We just recently purchased a used gaming device and 1 game for it. I think we've used it 3 times since I purchased it. (Dance Dance Revolution if you must know we got a cheap refurbished one, and My crew can beat your crew any time!)

I will say we communicate most over electronic devices: I/M, Email, phone Texting. But I'm actually getting away from electronic relationships because it is much nicer to hear a voice and be with a person than sleeping with a cell phone all the time. My cell phone has become my boyfriend, with me all the time, we talk, laugh, take pictures together, go out to dinner, it sings to me and plays some of my favorite music and yes we sleep together. Taking pictures of my promise ring on my cell phone and texted it to my friends made me realize something about that just ain't right. So I'm trying to get more away from having a relationship with electronics.

So as parents, we are training our children to do the same? Are we too lazy as parents to push them to go out side and play or even join them in some real parenting things, such as homework, or playing catch or even family hiking or campouts? Do we expect too little from them because we felt like we carried so much? Or do we expect soo much because we did so little ourselves? Where is the balance?

I have changed the name of the Generation Y name to Generation "C.I.G.A.R." It has nothing to do with the war on drugs or smoking or even Cigars themselves. This generation is actually more conscious about health issues such as drinking, smoking and drugs.

It has everything to do with motivation.

Case in point. Growing up we lived a mile from the school. We walked that mile. No, not up hill both ways in knee deep snow like our parents. We actually walked it and had fun walking it. We not only walked to school but we walked a mile down the street, played baseball all day long and then walked home still not tired.

We played out side on bikes and roller skates and skateboards til the streetlight came on then busted it to get home because we should have been in the house before dark. Our parents had to hunt us down to come in for dinner. Sometimes we would be miles from the house w/o realizing just how far we had gone. Our parents would trip! I could hear my father now... " they was 7 miles down the road playin in the junk yard... how they got there, I have no idea!" It was simple pops, we walked and played along the way!

This generation Y? We know exactly where they are. Cuz if they can't get a rid, they are right where you dropped them off. Generation C.I.G.A.R: "Can I Get A Ride?"

My friend can see the school from her house. Do you think her daughter is willing to walk home the 3 blocks from school? Nope. She's on the phone with family or friends... .
"Hey.... Can I Get A ride?"
My daughter, although she's not lazy, and was even on the high school track team works just down the hill from where we live, less than 1/2 a mile. Do you think that child is going to walk home after work 1/2 mile up hill? Nope. This morning....
"Hey Mom, I get off work at 9:45. C.I.G.A.R?"

"My baby girl! It'll be dark out. You'll be walking UPHILL! You're a beautiful young women you might get snatched. Of course you can get a ride!"

"Mom, you can't go to Salt Lake after church, I have a meeting at 6. It's a 1/2 mile walk back to the church.... C.I.G.A.R?"
Sure thing! We just can't have you walking all that way in heels now can we? The more I think about this the more I realize how true it is! We have impaired and quibbled our kids for life! The moment we taught them to put one foot in front of the other we picked them up and carried them to wherever else they needed to go. We've even sacrificed our own time and agenda to go out of our way 1 mile to drop them off at Movies 8 or the mall or where ever they were meeting for their evening of sitting on their keesters in front of some screen watching a movie or playing a game. We even smile when they say...
"Hey, Can Lindsey get a ride too? She's on the way."

What injustice have we caused our children? Have we placed the eternal burden of asking for C.I.G.A.R.S? That's another thing we've done to our kids. We don't require them to tought it out anymore. A kid gets scarred up running to first base tripping over the baseman and we now require a "safe base." A 2nd base next to the orgional so that the baseman can have his own and the runner can have his own and there's no human contact. I can surely see myself in court sueing a little league first baseman who tripped my little league runner on the way to the base.
We've gotten rediculous. I can't image grade school without Dodge ball and king of the mountain. We've eliminated the things that childhood school yard legends are made of! I'm pleased to have been a school yard legend myself! Did Generation X hold the last of the things that legends are made of? Are we the X treme reason of Y our kids generation is so lame?

Think about this next time you buckle under the pressure of giving in to letting your kid go to the mall and you find yourself handing them the car keys and telling them.... "I get of work 10 minutes after your movie gets out.... C.I.G.A.R?"