Last weekend my granddaughter went to her first concert and she’s only three. Three. Well, it wasn’t a ‘concert’ in the sense that you’re probably thinking. She went to see The Backyardigans.
When I was a kid growing up in the sixties and early seventies, The Backyardigans didn’t exist, nor did Dora the Explorer or SpongeBob or any of the hundreds of other shows geared toward children. There was no 24/7 of children’s entertainment. The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon were unheard of. Cable was unheard of. We got our cartoon fix on Saturday mornings and a few times a year with holiday specials. We watched those same specials over and over…once a year. Kids today can watch their favorites over and over all year round because they have them on DVD. We didn’t have DVD players back then; or VCRs. If you wanted to enjoy a story over and over again you walked to the library, checked out a book, read it and then reread it.
When I was a kid they didn’t have video games, computers, MP3 players or cell phones. I didn’t play a home video game until I was 15. I got my first ‘boom box’ after I was married; it had radio and a tape deck, CD players weren’t around yet. My first computer was purchased in 1988 when I was 26 years old; a Tandy from RadioShack with a dot matrix printer. That printer took ages to print one page, but at the time it didn’t seem that slow.
My grandson turned seven on Sunday. And yes, my son turned 29. Ouch, that makes me feel old. Anyhoo, we had a get together at my house to celebrate. My granddaughter couldn’t make it as she was at a ‘concert’. When it came time to open presents my grandson got amongst other things, a CD, two games for his Play Station 2 and an iPod. Yes, an iPod. I did mention that he’s seven, didn’t I?
Things sure have changed since I was growing up. Kids nowadays have it so much better than I did. Though in retrospect I guess I didn’t have it as bad as my parents. They had to walk uphill to school both ways…in the snow.