Of Chasing Feral Cats and Tia Maria and Diet Coke….

The Baby is somewhat of a video game connoisseur.  Oh hell, he is a full blown addict at the ripe old age of 8.   He is the only one of the three who made it to that category, so I guess I did okay.  Anyway, that is not the point.  He knows everything there is to know about every video anything ever made-from Pong to XBox One. He likes to discuss these things.  I do not.  He likes to ask me about the Atari 400 my brother and I had, and what games we had….I do not remember anything other than Ms. Pacman, Frogger, Space Invaders,  and a game called “Music Composer” that allowed me to write music.  My brother, Eli, and I did not play video games all that much.  We played outside.  We played in the creek behind our house.  We played “Cowboys and Indians”–sorry if that is un-PC, but that is what we called it.  We rode our bicycles.  I roller skated with my girlfriends.  I can remember saving my babysitting money to buy boot skates with metal wheels for $12.99.  That’s how I broke my wrist in 5th grade-roller skating down the big hill in front of our house on Forest Lane.  We stayed gone on our bicycles until the sun went down and we could hear Mothah calling us from the back door…”JENNIFAH….ELI….COME ON HOME” ….Such a thing of the past that is.  As a teenager, I lived on a farm.  We did not have central air.  The ceilings were high and we had fans in the windows.  My youngest stepsister and I did things during the summer like “go on safari”…this consisted of us chasing feral cats around behind the garage, trying to catch them….fun that lasted for hours and hours on end.  It never got boring! As we got older, we would mix us up a thermos of Tia Maria, stolen from the parents liquor cabinet, and Diet Coke (liquor connoisseurs that we were) ….and drive the “dog truck” all over the farm.  The dog truck had a contraption on the back for my stepfather’s hunting dogs.  While this was illegal entertainment, it was creative nonetheless.  One summer, our cousin came to work with us on the farm.  We would work in the morning, have a big lunch, then we would be so worn out, we would go lie down in my room and listen to Mothah’s old Tiny Tim albums and laugh our asses off for an hour.  Those were the days.  We required no screens.  We required no entertainment from adults.  We created  our own entertainment (albeit some of it was illegal, it was not like we were driving on actual roads!)  I feel sorry for my own kids sometimes.  Don’t start leaving me comments like “take their screens away and they will gain an imagination”….I don’t need to hear that sage advice, but thanks. I do actually take The Baby’s iPad away, and he polices himself with his games-taking days off at a time. He actually listens to his pediatrician!  We live in a different world today.  Mini Me and The Middle Child both have phones. iPhones. And the reason is this:  I want to be able to get in touch with them whenever I want to.  Wherever they are.  I frequently hear people say, “we survived without cell phones”….and I have said it myself.  Yes, we did survive without them.  But the truth is this:  while I may long for the days of yore, that shit bit the dust a long time ago.  Technology has grown up and continues to grow.  And so must I.  I will always have my memories of chasing feral cats and drunk driving on the farm…..and for me, that will be enough.

8 thoughts on “Of Chasing Feral Cats and Tia Maria and Diet Coke….

  1. I wish I had thought of that comeback to those who think everything should stay just like it was. I am beginning to wonder: since the future is going to be increasingly computerized, perhaps their interest at an early age will get them ahead faster over other kids. I agree they do need creative play time but…..well who can say how much is just right for all kids?

  2. As entertaining as ever! Yesterday I was catching up with a childhood friend and we reminisced about the ridiculous and creative things we did to entertain ourselves before technology was a thing. We did not take the ‘obligatory’ selfie to capture our afternoon. Memories are enough indeed. As a new mom I remarked on how I’d love to minimize screen time for my kids, but that is probably break all the rules I set as the reality of modern parenting sets in.

  3. Love your sense of humor, and glorious “out loud” attitude. I get a chuckle reading your posts, because you couldn’t make this “down to earth” stuff you write about up if you wanted to. It’s too gritty. And, I’m with you about technology. Usually the people that talk it down can’t figure it out. They don’t care that you are keeping up, they are too smitten with their own self-imposed ignorance, and looking to trash talk. Our brains are wired for NOW…so there!!!

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