Sorry future children – you are screwed. Okay so maybe that is a harsh and overly dramatic way to start, but I am terrified for what I won’t be able to help them with.
A few weeks ago, I was getting my house ready for an upcoming appraisal. My husband was out of town and I could NOT get the stupid string loaded into the weed-eater. I swear they make those things impossible to use. I had to call in the reinforcements – aka my parents. They are absolutely a Godsend and of course offered their help.
So here they come bright and early on a Saturday morning locked and loaded. My mom had her hands full of different plants that would succeed in my window planter boxes based on what time of the day my house gets sun (no wonder everything I plant dies. I just pick out flowers based on pretty colors). My dad, toolbox in hand, fixed my weed-eater in .5 seconds and immediately started repairing the stair hand railings leading up to the house with a couple of screws and boards he found behind my backyard shed. I started to pull the weeds or what I thought were the weeds but my mom quickly stopped me and let me know that it was poison oak.
In a matter of minutes, I realized that I know how to do nothing and that I was probably going to wake up with a rash. Okay, that is an exaggeration. I know how to do some things. I can cook. I can clean. I am semi-tech savvy. But this whole experience got me thinking – what is going to happen to my future children? And not just them, but our society as a whole? If I, a product of parents who are ultra handy, don’t feel that I am competent in many of the basic life skills, what happens to my children, and for that matter the children of others who have no one to guide them? Where do you even go to learn these things? Not school. We are raising children in a society of technology, fast food and standardized testing. Gone are the days of home economics and wood-shop classes. Sitting down as a family to a fresh, home-cooked meal has become a rare occurrence. Instead, students spend countless hours bubbling answers on a scantron and listening to iPods while they are waiting in the McDonald’s drive-thru.
If everyone, including myself, is losing this connection where will we be in the next twenty years? I am honestly worried. When I am a parent and my daughter calls for help with a piece of yard equipment, what am I going to do? Come over with my iPhone and iPad and wait with her until someone we google-searched on the devices can come do the repair?
I am determined to soak in every bit of information my parents pass to me. I will listen when my dad shows me how to change my oil for the 50th time. I won’t roll my eyes when my mom gives me tips for getting rid of dandelions in the yard. When my grandma shows me how to thread a bobbin – I am taking notes. I am not doing it for me. I am doing it for my future children.