Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fast Forward

Every since I was first pregnant with Ryan, Herb and I often discussed the issues we might have to deal with over the years. And we wondered how things will have changed over the next 15 or 20 years, changes that we can’t even imagine now. When Herb’s daughter was born, there was no such thing as “text messaging” – yet that was a sticking point when she was a teenager. No high school student is without a laptop today, but they didn’t even exist when she was born. Facial and body piercings and tattoos were hardly imaginable on young people – and yet today they’re so common we hardly notice many of them.

Many of the television shows and movies that are popular would have been scandalous a dozen years ago. So what kinds of things will we be butting heads with Ryan over in the coming years?

Even clothing and hair styles will have changed radically. When I was born, my mother could never have imagined that 15 years later I would ask her what she thought of my dying a magenta streak in my hair (she somehow recalls this conversation as my wanting to dye all my hair magenta – but I swear I just wanted one little streak). She had no idea that my high school classmates would be sporting mohawks, long braided tails, and upright bangs laden with an entire bottle of Aquanet.

She’d have been stunned to think that jeans would be acceptable in school (I got to wear them maybe once a month, and NEVER on a day when I was working after school), and she would have just shaken her head had she imagined I’d wear my V-neck sweater backwards and no socks inside my boat shoes. Or that I’d own a pair of hot-pink nylon parachute pants. (Seriously. I’m so ashamed.)

And then there’s music. Oy, the music. My grandparents listened to Benny Goodman and hated my parents’ love of Buddy Holly, Bill Haley, and the Everly Brothers. My parents hated my love of Duran Duran and Billy Idol and Depeche Mode. My husband hates his daughter’s love of that modern rappy stuff she listens to. And I have no doubt that the music that Ryan is into during his high school years will make our skin crawl.

Oh well, no use worrying about it before we get there. But maybe I’ll give myself some advice from my own teen years, just to be on the safe side.

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