I always new that my children would grow up in a different world than the one I grew up in. My world, after all, was so much different than my parents’. Even so, I was still somewhat struck by the realization of just how much different Dylan’s childhood will be.
We drove around with one of my husband’s cousin’s yesterday, looking at different DC suburb options in anticipation of the day when we can actually afford to buy a home again (it would help if our first home back west would sell). There are a couple of major differences that stuck out to me.
The first revelation came to me in passing a Blockbuster store. I announced that even though I never go out to rent movies any more, thanks to On Demand (whether online with Amazon, ITunes, or Netflix, or through Comcast), I always smile when I see movie rental places because they bring back memories from my childhood. Whenever my parents were going out and we were going to have a babysitter (yay!), my mom took us to one of the TWO ( West Coast Video or Sun something… I don’t remember) video stores to pick out a movie. We pretty much always picked the same ones: The Last Unicorn or a Care Bears movie and, when we were a little older, The Never Ending Story. I can only assume my mom decided not to buy them so she wouldn’t be stuck watching them with us everyday (smart move mom!). Dylan will possibly NEVER even comprehend the idea of leaving the house to rent a movie (or going to the library to do research for a paper for that matter). Information and entertainment is available to him at the click of a button; which is both really cool and really scary at the same time
The next difference I realized yesterday is Dylan’s definition of a neighborhood. Andy and I love all the planned communities that are popping up all over the place in suburbia. New Urbanism is everywhere and I wonder if that will be Dylan’s concept of a neighborhood, rather than the neighborhoods I grew up with. The definition of a neighborhood for me was always a community with a lot of nearly identical houses where a car is absolutely necessary to get anywhere. I did not grow up in a neighborhood, I grew up in an old country village, but most of my friends lived in neighborhoods where they could at least walk to their friends houses and play on the sidewalks and in the street. These planned communities are all that and more. They are like mini cities with everything one could possibly need within walking distance… school, groceries, libraries, bowling, movie theater, you name it. Even if Andy and I chose not to move to one, will this be the kind of community Dylan thinks of when he hears the word neighborhood? In many ways this was the concept behind the original neighborhoods that were built in the fifties and sixties and very much the idea my parents had in mind when they moved us to the village we grew up in, but I wanted to live in one of the “boring” newer neighborhoods my friends lived in because that’s where all the kids were (not to mention that playing in the street or on the sidewalk where I grew up is a laughable idea with the volume and speed of the traffic that goes by).
The third thing I realized was music. So I grew up with Britney Spears and Christina Agulera too, but not until I was older. I was exposed to classical, jazz, rock, grunge, punk, ska, and swing music when I was younger and, in my opinion, all of those styles of music take some degree of musicianship. The kind of music that’s popular right now is just SO completely manufactured and I can’t help but wonder what Dylan’s idea of good music will be. Most of the classical and jazz and even some rock that I was exposed to was due to my parents, but a majority of the other music was mainstream. I mean, a few examples of the groups who I listened to and enjoyed where: The Cranberries, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Alanis Morissette. In my opinion, whether you enjoy their music or not, you have to admit, they are all examples of talented musicians and artists. I don’t see too many self made artists/musicians out there in mainstream music lately and I wonder what that will mean for this generation of children. Even watching Glee, I am often shocked at what they choose to perform as a show choir. I know it’s a show, but I don’t think my choir instructor would EVER have allowed some of those songs to be performed by any of her choirs.
I’m sure there are many differences I have missed, but these are just a few of the ones that stuck out in my mind. Please tell me what you think of the ones I’ve mentioned (agree or disagree?) and add some of the ones you’ve thought of!