I remember as a kid whenever there’d be an issue, my parent’s default answer was, “Because I said so.” If I protested, it’d be something similar to, “If you don’t like it, you can move out.” Fair enough, my parents did pay the bills and cart my ass around to various sports, pay for my activities, and generally did a solid job raising me.
It’s funny that children always believe that adults know best. As I got older, I realized many times adults don’t know a god damn thing. It’s an illusion, a façade, something that is put on for kids to grow up sheltered before the big bad world kicks them in the mouth. They are running and gunning, just like their younger counterparts, only they have the experience of messing up and hopefully learning from it. For better or for worse, many kids around the country grew up in a similar situation in the ‘burbs across the country.
Now that I’m an adult and quite a few of my friends have kids, I wonder how much of their life is together. Do they figure it out as they go? I see grown men fight at major sporting events, women smoking with a child in utero, and many generally unsavory things by those that “should know better” which begs the question: do we ever really grow up or do we just get older?
As part of my job, I am occasionally in charge of events that involve educating kids. This includes babysitting, resolving disputes, helping them if they fall and attempting to teach them stuff. It’s weird when these little beings view me as the authority when I myself may or may not have been drunk the night before (they always have these events around Halloween). That cry, “We need an adult!” is weird when the adult is me. I can barely keep track of my keys, let alone be responsible should little Timmy trip and bust open his head.
There will always be a schism between the old and young. The older generation always blames the younger generation, not realizing they are basically calling themselves shit parents because they raised us. The older generation was blamed when they were young. I guess it’s a vicious cycle. For me, I find the greatest irony in that the Baby Boomers call us entitled, yet they were the OG’s of entitlement. That’s a whole other can of worms, though.
Personally, I think age is just a number and people are people. Young assholes grow up to be old assholes. The thing about behavior change is that one has to be aware of any dickhead behavior and want to change it. How many of you have stories of your friend from Little League that had to be escorted out due to threatening the umpire, the opposing coach, or even their own coach? That same guy was a kid once and I can guarantee that he learned it from his old man.
The thing about getting older is it happens regardless if you want it to or not. We often get wrapped up in our lives and one day you find that ten years have passed you by. Life is incremental. If you look at a picture of yourself today and a month from now, there won’t be much difference. But go back to freshman year of college and you’ll see a huge change. I never really feel like I’m any different than before, yet I know I had to have changed. Whether it be a few more pounds or a couple of gray hairs, I’m not sure we ever stop growing up. There is always room for improvement, a new rock to overturn or a new mountain to climb. Part of the maturation process is understanding and owning the situation and not letting the aging process knock you down..