Kids these days…
My work week began as a whisper, but then rapidly crescendoed into a cacophony of emails, ringing phones, conference calls and text messages. As Baby Snooks would say, “Pianissimo, please!”
If you got that reference you’re really old. Like me. Actually Baby Snooks was before my time, but when I was a kid my parents introduced me to some of their favorite classic radio and television personalities, and I really enjoyed many of them. I think my brother and I wore a hole through the Smothers Brothers “Think Ethnic” LP.
That was back when kids played outside all day long. We cooled off under the garden hose, and then drank from it. We rode our bikes fast. We made incredibly unsafe jumps out of whatever we could find lying around, and we crashed–a lot. We played tackle sandlot football, often barefoot and wearing nothing but a pair of shorts. We hauled ass on minibikes and go-carts, even if our parents thought we didn’t. We got in fistfights, and then played baseball in the street with the same guys we were just beating the pulp out of. Scrapes and bruises were the norm, and casts were badges of honor. We learned that in sports, and in life, there are winners and losers.
Things are very different now.
I’d love to see kids out playing in the street again, laughing as they get dirty and banged up with their friends.
Heck, forget sports for a moment. I rarely see kids even interacting with one another when they are standing around at the bus stop or whatever. They are always staring down at their phones, faces blank and expressionless.
So many kids today have never once oiled a glove, thrown a football or run until their lungs felt like fireballs. They’ll never know how great it feels to win, and how to do so graciously. Even more important than learning how to be a good winner are the life lessons that come from losing. Kids can’t get that experience from an Xbox, and they damn sure won’t get it from a “Participant” medal.
“Get off my lawn” would be the standard closing lament from an old man on an old man rant. I’m going to go the other way: “Go get your football and come play on my lawn!”
I’ll leave the hose running.