Have you ever heard about your dad’s commute to school?
I’m sure it was uphill, both ways. Probably on Mount Everest. And there were coyotes and hyenas ready to pounce on you. That’s what he made it sound like. It was tough, manly and he had to carry heavy books since “there were no USBs around.” The point is, you’re lucky to take a bus to school.
Obviously, some of that is an exaggeration. Not just what dads tell us, but what moms tell us too.
I mean hey, our parents had parents. Our parents were kids once. They too were pampered to some extent by their parents, our grandparents.
But when our parents tell us about the old days, it’s not to one-up us. It’s a sentimental observation on how society changes. They are witnessing you deal with a different world.
This is an interesting feeling, and it only goes one way. Because time moves one way, and it moves at the same speed for everyone. The older watch the younger grow. The young grow older and watch the even younger grow.
If you’re the oldest sibling or cousin like me, you might’ve felt some of this as well. I’m barely old enough to remember when cellphones unironically had keyboard buttons. I watched as my younger brothers grew up in a world with touchscreens. They didn’t watch me grow up with keypads, but they will watch their kids grow up with even newer technology.
And that’s what parents experience times a thousand.
Your parents watched you grow up, take your first steps, say your first words. They watch you trip and fall. Maybe they even recorded some of that. They were there at your little league games and as you got into your first relationship.
But those are all rites of passage. What about the things you’ve experienced together?
Like the explosion of texting and the rise of e-commerce. Working from home and streaming services.
Society is very different from what it was even 10 years ago.
Which is why some parents want to sound tough at times. They see a lot of the comfort amenities we have and think, “Wow, the kids have it easy these days!”
On the flip side, they are also very relieved at times to not have to deal with a lot of the clownery of our generation. I explained dating apps to my mom, and she was very glad she grew up without them.
Regardless, parents tend to lean on the side of wisdom. Even if you’re the first in your family to go to college, or know how to program, just remember that your parents have spent a lot of time on you. No amount of technological and 21st century savviness will make up for years of life experience.
Just remember that next time you think your parents are lame. What is lame really? Not being au courant? Having an ‘outdated’ music taste?
They raised you with dial-up Internet. Come to think of it, that is tough.