The other day while I was in the post office, I suddenly remembered that this time of year used to mean lots of people stopping by the post office or local libraries seeking out tax forms. I realized that, unless things really changed for some reason, heading to a library or post office for tax forms would be something that my kids would never do as adults.
It also made me start thinking, “What other things that were normal for me are just things that my kids will probably never do or don’t understand that people did?”
I came up with a list of some of the things I thought of, but hopefully you might want to chime in too.
1. They won’t need to sit around waiting for the radio station to play your new favorite song, just so you could get a recording of it without having to buy a whole album. Of course, as we all know, the one time that you finally caught it right at the beginning of the song, the DJ would invariably get on before the song was done and say something dumb.
2. They don’t understand the concept of getting up to change the television channel. Quite frankly, even I don’t know how we would manually change the channel by walking up to our TV.
3. Speaking of the television, they were shocked to hear that there used to be a time at night where most stations would play the national anthem and then go to a test signal or a “snow” pattern. Eric and I told them about this within just the past few weeks, and they looked at us so quizzically. They believed us, but I could tell there was an underlying skepticism that there were times of night where there was just literally nothing on the television.
4. I know that some people still don’t have cell phones, but for the most part, it’s a foreign concept to think of back in the day when you set up a time with someone to meet somewhere and then you had no way to get in touch with them once they left their home or you left your home.
5. Eric and I laughed one day while Molly was playing an online game with one of her best pals while talking to her on the phone. We later told the kids that that wouldn’t have been possible in the past without a separate phone line because most people’s home internet ran through their phone line. This was, again, one of those things that they looked a little doubtful about. You can imagine their shock when we told them that at least two of them were actually born before we finally had cable internet.
Seriously though – how annoying was that when you were right in the middle of an important online task and someone managed to call in and you got kicked off the Internet? What a pain!
6. Being able to only bring your very favorite music along with you on a car trip. Why only your very favorite? Well, because you had to bring cassette tapes, of course. Having been a life long fan of music, I remember having a variety of carrying cases for just that purpose. I was always armed with a case of cassette tapes (sometimes ditching the tape cases so I could fit in more), my Walkman, and extra batteries for long car trips.
7. They don’t understand the allure of Saturday morning cartoons. With a line up of channels that specialize in programming for kids around the clock, cartoons just one day a week seems insane to them.
I’ll admit to being a semi-cheater on this one though. We had cable starting from when I was pretty young. So, I had Nickelodeon from when I was in very early elementary school. The only thing I remember about it, however, was You Can’t Do That on Television.
There are so many other things that kids don’t get or are surprised about in regards to the way life was when their parents were growing up. What has surprised your kids about your time growing up?