I don’t recall the exact conversation I was having with my son. Most likely I was offering unasked for advice, something a high school senior would almost certainly rather not hear. I imagine it was something trivial, such as suggesting that he sign important documents in cursive rather than print. Perhaps I reminded him that his phone, while certainly useful for texting and internet access, can also be used to call and speak to people. Maybe it was when I told him to mail invitations to an upcoming event, as not everyone in the world communicates via Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.
No, I can’t remember the precise words I offered to him, but I do remember my son’s reply:
“That’s not how my generation does things, Mom.”
I suppose I was being a tad sensitive, but oh how those words stung! Maybe it was the word generation – the implication being that this isn’t about the two of us having different viewpoints. Apparently the trouble is that I am an entire generation away from all that is new and fresh and now, a hapless victim of the vagaries of time, my soul frozen in eternal limbo somewhere in the mid 1980’s, locked in a daily struggle to understand the modern day intricacies of social media and the nuances of emoticon texting.
Okay. I’m over-reacting. I see that now.
Now that I think about it, the problem wasn’t so much what he said; it was how I felt when I heard his words.
And how did I feel?
Old, that’s how.
Okay, maybe not old – but definitely older. Old enough to have this current generation of teens and young adults giggle at my quaint lifestyle. After all, I still have a landline, I still play CD’s, and I still use checks to pay my bills on occasion. I’m practically a cultural dinosaur.
You know what? Now that I’m over my initial shock, I’ve realized I’m totally fine with that. My son and I are of different generations, and we do see the world differently. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Every generation that comes along changes the world a bit, and I, for one, think that is a good thing.
Besides – it has the added bonus of giving the rest of us something to complain about!
Say it with me now —
It sure isn’t like it was back in my day…
–a quote from every person over forty, everywhere