Friday, February 6, 2009

That was then - this is now.

It’s 8:45 on a Thursday evening late January and I'm at my 10 year olds’ basketball practice scheduled to end at 9:30. At this same time, on any given evening, 37 years ago, my father would be relaxing on his Lazyboy recliner watching Peter Faulk as Columbo.

That was then - this is now.
Times have changed more than I would have ever imagined. Our kids are busier than I ever was. I got into sports when I was able to get myself to a sporting practice and home again. Back then, I’d grab my baseball mitt and thread the back strap through the handle bar of my bright green Schwinn String Ray (one gear, back pedal to brake and NO HELMET!!) and meet ‘the guys’ at ‘the field’ – the same place we’d meet every Saturday morning. No need for phone calls, text messages, IM’s or emails - there were no drop-offs or pick-ups – everyone just showed up.
Today, our kids start dance and sports at 3 years old. If they didn't, they’ll be at a disadvantage. Our 10 year olds’ soccer team has a coach, a couple of assistant coaches and – are you ready for this? – a TRAINER!! (You say: “Are you kidding me? They’re 10 years old!!”) Yep, I had the same reaction.

Years ago, if a pee-wee league existed, my parents didn't have the time, money or interest to register any of us. Today, our schedule of the kid’s activities after school and all weekend is very similar to most families with children - crazy.

When I was young, my father would walk through the door just about the same time every night - 5:30. Mom would have dinner ready so all he'd have to do is sit down at the table. We'd all eat and Dad would settle into his chair for the night while Mom cleaned up from dinner, gave baths and checked homework. Those were the night time activities - except, if Dad needed milk for his coffee in the morning, then my mother would pile all five of us into the station wagon and drive through Dairy Barn – Dad didn’t run errands or babysit, his day ended at 5pm. (Can you say Archie and Edith?)

As my son and I head home after his practice, it’s about 9:45pm and all I can think is - that was then, it certainly isn’t now.


Susan - My Vintage Charm said...

So true Fred, everyone is so busy these days it's amazing there is still a family!

Enjoy this precious time you have with your children. Time fly's by so quickly. Before you know it they'll be spreading their wings and off on their own.

Thanks for the memories!


Julie said...

All I can say is "Soo True!" I was just out visiting new blogs and found yours. Enjoyed my visit!

Kath' said...

I absolutly LOVE THIS BLOG... I will sign up and keep reading along. I had to laugh many times while reading and thats something we all dont get enough of... Thanks Fred, tell Dawn hello for me.
Kath' at