Should We Worry About the Youth of Today?

17 Jun
Summer 2010 – lemonade
Summer 2013 – handwashing

Last night was Family Movie Night.  We don’t do it often, but Grannie had taken a stroll through the local used DVD emporium, and sent us Ghostbusters as part of a care package.  And who can say no to that?

As the film started and books started floating through the library, Indy pasted herself to my side and Erik and I shared a look.  I suddenly remembered that a few of the ghosts in the film were pretty scary.  I had misgivings; I did not want to induce a Gremlins reaction.

I come from a family of four kids.  I stand first in line at slot #1.  My youngest brother runs sweep six years and three positions later.  As the youngest, he was no doubt expected to do and see things that I never would have been allowed near at the same age. Sometime in the late eighties, we convinced my parents to rent Gremlins.  We popped the VHS in the machine and enjoyed the delicious combination of cute & cuddly / deliciously scary.

Except for #4.  Who was maybe six.  And had Gremlins nightmares from that night until approximately forever.

Time for some quality parenting, aka backpedalling.  “There might be a few scary guys in this movie,” I said to the girls.  “But you know that none of it is real, and I promise it all turns out fine, okay?”  I patted myself on the back.  Good job, Mom.  Butt covered.

By now, Stylish was glued to me as well.  The tension built.  And the first scary ghost appeared.

Stylish laughed and peeled away.  “What?  You thought that was scary?  Mom.”  Indy, perhaps having more faith in my warning, stayed close.  But she didn’t even say a peep when people started turning into dogs.

In the morning, a well-rested Indy bounded into bed with us.  “Mom!  Dad!  I had the greatest dream!  It was about Slimer and the Staypuft Marshmallow Man and it was so funny!”  So the kids sat down and made Slimer figures, complete with moveable arms.

I ain’t afraid of no ghost.

All of this might lead you to conclude: “Kids these days.  So jaded.  Civilized society coming crashing down, etc. [/hellinahandbasketrant]  And you would be wrong.

Which brings me around to the photos at the top of this post.  Once upon a time, my kids had a lemonade stand.  Theirs was the sole lemonade stand I ever saw in our neighbourhood, maybe because people don’t walk enough anymore, maybe because their parents were too busy to supervise, maybe because such an enterprise is now socially unacceptable for reasons I don’t know about and don’t care to.  Anyway.  Their idea, I set them up, they made a bundle and met lots of nice neighbours, I shut them down, the end.

But a lemonade stand won’t work in the boatyard.  Too cold, not enough customers, no lemonade.  Hmm, what to do.  What do cruisers need?  And the lightbulb went on.  A handwashing station.  I’ll let Stylish explain:

The kids have spent the entire day on this.  They built a station, handed out advertisements to other boats and the office, and shouted out encouragement to non-existent passersby like career carnies.

And the yard came.

Let me help you, dear sir.

This was a free service, entirely for fun.  No compensation requested or expected.  But they made friends anyway, and even got invited to bake on another boat.  Apparently, croissants will be delivered later on.

So.  The kids may be blase about lame special effects from the eighties, but anyone who can spend such a good day when left to their own devices can grow up and run my country any day.



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