June 23, 2011
by Chris Feeney
Isn't it just a given that parents had it tougher than their kids? I didn't have to walk to school, let alone go up hill both ways while packing baked potatoes to keep my hands warm, faced with the knowledge that I could either eat lunch or have cold hands on the walk back home after school.
Now my kids seem to be basking in their inheritance of the ease of the next generation, and it's about to kill dad. Is it just me, or do kids nowadays have way more to do? I have to keep two calendars, cover the refrigerator in reminders and leave a trail of notes like bread crumbs leading Hansel and Gretel to my kids' next appointment. I'm going to have to buy a larger memory card for my cell phone so it can store all of my calendar entries.
One of my favorite quotes is "People are seldom too busy to stop and tell you how busy they are." Guess that fits this column pretty well.
Between the softball, swim meets, band practice, basketball camps, youth groups and birthday parties there is barely a second to catch your breath. Maybe my memory is fading (I am nearing 40) but I just do not recall being half as involved during my childhood? That's not to say we were inactive. As a matter of fact, even with all of the activities, my kids still are more sedentary than we kids of the 70s. I just don't recall all of the scheduled activities. I played Little League, but that was pretty much the lone commitment I had before getting into high school.
I need to ask mom and dad if I was sheltered, disinterested or if they simply didn't have all the opportunities available to today's kids? Maybe they were just smarter than I am, being quick to dispatch brochures, flyers or other invites to participate. We have ways to filter e-mail and prevent phone solicitors, I need to come up with a way to screen requests for my kids to join just one more thing. Somehow they have that impeccable timing, where the one day of the month they do a chore and go get the mail from the mailbox, is the one day there are 19 pieces of propaganda to fill the few remaining seconds of our free time.
I never imagined being ready for my daughter to get her driver's license. Apparently the fear of her driving skills is outweighed by the desire to quit my second job as a chauffeur.
As I was driving to Lancaster Wednesday night for Katie's ball game, I had to avoid a silver/gray Ford pickup that was crowding the center line. In the process of avoiding being side-wiped I caught a glimpse of the other driver, a stunning gentleman with red hair. That's when I realized I had met myself coming and going.
That wasn't too far from the truth. Just moments after arriving, late, for our game at the Lancaster ball park, we noticed there were no other purple jerseys warming up. A quick call corrected our schedule snafu, reminding us we played a home game in Memphis, not Lancaster. I'm curious to know if we had only glanced at the field as we passed by if we would have seen our team and corrected the mistake before we sped out of town?
Fortunately the early game ran a little over, so we got back in time for the start of the contest. I didn't even get a chance to try out what I figured was a perfect excuse for an unsuspecting law officer that may have seen the identical speeding trucks heading in opposite directions. I was just hoping he or she had active kids.