We all lived to tell the stories
During the Fourth of July holiday, I was blessed to be surrounded by friends and family during much of the day. And, while the fireworks were nice, the food delicious, it was the time spent that meant the most.
In the speed of today’s society, the clock seems to tick just a bit faster. The days seem just a bit shorter and the list of obligations that eat away at those brief, precious seconds seem ever longer.
But during some of the conversations with friends, as with most conversations among fellow parents, the topics focused on children, what those children have done lately, what they have failed to do and what we did when we were children.
Now, before I get into the topics discussed, keep in mind these conversations took place over a grill, it was warm and it was hours before the fireworks show downtown.
There was some time to burn, and when “dads” get together, there is a sense of one-upmanship that sometimes comes into play.
So during the talk, we shared stories of how children today — thankfully — will not have the “fun” of a bottle-rocket war, or irresponsibly picking up a roman candle as it’s firing and aiming it at a sibling or cousin. Children today — thankfully — will not be left on their own with explosive devices to see just how much of their bicycle could be removed with the placement of an overcharged firework.
There were stories of using a PVC pipe to give your bottle rocket the best chance of hitting the “target,” and how strapping together sparklers is probably not the best idea.
Yet, but by the grace of God, we survived and were given the chance to share the stories of survival.
All of that made me think, how much did our parents worry about such activities when we were the ones outside pulling off such miracles of destruction? Were they concerned about our safety and survival? I am sure they were, but if we were pulling those kinds of stunts, what did they get away with and survive when they were our age?
It might be the opinion of some that today’s youth are “less tough” than those of previous generations. And to some degree, those opinions have some validity.
But, I would also think that — as parents — we want our children to be smarter than we were and learn from the mistakes that we made.
Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy my children testing their limits, taking chances and overcoming their fears. I just want to make sure they take those chances while still keeping all of their fingers and toes.
Tim Reeves is the editor of The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.