Growing up

While reading a blog post last night I was inspired to write this one. It started as one memory and during my 2 hour commute to and from work today (horrible), it gave me time to think. Think I did, amazing how your mind can pull up so many thoughts and emotions and before you know it you’re in such deep thought that you don’t remember the last 2 hours going by.

My blogging friend’s post was about root beer soda, which brought up a good memory of mine. When I was young I would go to my grandfather’s house with my dad, we would sometimes stop for a soda on the way. We would get R.C. cola in a glass bottle and he would put peanuts in his. I of course had to do the same, and I liked it. Now and then I will stop and do that still, the memory with me every time. Such a simple pleasure. Most people I tell this to look at me funny, a few understand the peanuts in cola thing.Anyone else out there do this? If not you should try it.

So while reminiscing it made me think of the “good old days”, now, Im not old, 46 this year, but old enough to have those good old days memories. This sent my brain on another track and I thought how so many people talk about the good old days and how things just aren’t the same.Sure, this is true,but something that stuck out to me is how a lot of older people will look down on the younger generation. “You kids don’t know how easy you have it” and “If i would have done that when I was a kid my parents would have…”. You know what I mean. I sometimes feel the same but today I felt enlightened. These are my kids “good old days” they are living now. Who am I to deny them that, after all, the world they live in and the things they do are a direct result of what our generation did to get them here.

I’ve had that thought for some time now actually. My parents generation shaped mine. I know there is so much bad happening and there are epidemics that are worse but, think of all the good that has come from each generation. I had a great talk with my 20 year old daughter when I got home about what I am actually writing now. I bring her up because I mentioned to her how women were treated, and people of different races and cultures. That is something I wouldn’t consider as part of the good old days. Of course we still have a long way to go and with our next generation I’m sure it will get better. When I was in elementary school they still spanked, I got a few. One funny story (not really) was when my friends and I were swinging as high as we could and jumping off to see how far we could go. Our teacher told us to stop and if we got hurt we would get a spanking. Well, she walked away and of course I said, “watch this”. I had my winter coat on and it was unzipped, when I jumped it hooked to the swing and down I came. Head first. There was an immediate goose egg and here comes the teacher. I’m bawling now and she tells me to go stand in the hall outside our classroom. Yes, she went to get the paddle, spanked me making me cry more of course. Sure, I should have listened to her in the first place, but looking back at that now I’m almost appalled by it. Did the spanking stop me from doing it again? No it didn’t, the memory of my pounding head and the luck that I didn’t get hurt more did though. Then there was a kid in kindergarten that had to wear a sign that said “blockhead” around his neck at lunch because he misbehaved, and me getting spanked in front of the class then having to sit in a chair by the chalkboard facing my classmates so they could see me cry. Oh yeah what about the time I didn’t finish my lunch (never did, i was a very skinny kid and didn’t eat a lot) and the teacher made me take the tray to the classroom to finish it all while everyone else went to recess. This is where I insert ‘lol’, not really but it’s been a long time now.

I can say that there is not one time I look back and say that by being spanked it made me a better person, or even prevented me from being bad again. I generally don’t like to say things that may start controversy or get people wound up but must say that when I hear people saying they spank because their parents did and they agree, I cringe. Those are the people I don’t need in my life. I use this example and yes it is the same…If you work for me and you mess up or purposely do the opposite, I should be able to come over and wail on you. A good beating will make you do it right. Of course that’s not the case, so why do it to a child. My point here is so many kids had this same thing happen to them. A lot of parents don’t spank now and trust me, with the luxuries our children have it’s very easy to punish now. So, i will apologize for my spanking rant but it is one example that I can relate to that shows one of the “not so good old days” ways.

Now to turn back to the positive, engage your children. Be part of their good old days, make them smile at the thought of something sweet and out of the blue you did. Write them a letter, hug them, tell them you love them. Tell them stories about yourself, open up a little. Yes we are parents first, it’s our job to make sure our children are safe and to teach them, but make yourself part of their good old days. Make them laugh years from now because they remembered the funny thing that dad said or did. I don’t want to get old and die, I want to see grand,great,great great grandkids. I do hope that when that time comes my children will be able to remember me as a good father. Sure i’ve messed up countless times, yelled, blew my top, but I have also apologized when I knew it was uncalled for. Nobody is perfect but it’s learning from our mistakes and actually correcting ourselves when we see what we may need to work on. My kids are 20,19 and 8 and I am constantly learning, sometimes repeating mistakes but always trying to do better.

I realize this took quite the turn from peanuts in cola, so after all those spankings I got from my mom and dad, it’s good to know that it isn’t the only thing I dwell on. I’ll always remember that special time with my dad and I know that he loved me. I will be sure to tell him about it when i see him again.

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed. Now go make some memories!

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