We are coming up on Valentine’s Day, and everywhere you look in the United States there are posters and reminders that we need to tell someone special that we love them… It’s supposedly all about love (and not about commericialism, which is a good topic for a different post).
I might have mentioned (once or twice) that I am a parent. Once of infants, then preschoolers, then school-aged, now teens.
NOTHING makes a parent feel older, I think, than realizing that in less time than it took them to reach the ages they are now… the offspring may have offspring. In ten more years, the elder child will be the age I was when he was born, which was already three years older than my mother was when she had me. Will I then be old enough to be a grandmother? I suppose, I will be — at whatever age it happens.
Being a teacher is something like being a parent, I am discovering… I look out at the sea of youthful faces, lesson in mind, and find myself remembering when I learned the same lesson. Only, in those days, we had less information, fewer details to learn and fewer resources to use when studying. We had books. Encyclopedias (books). Magazines (thin books with floppy covers). Sometimes, we could interview someone for information. But usually, we headed to the library to search for likely sources in the card catalog. And then we wrote our reports.
In middle school and high school, hand-written papers were acceptable. Only the most affluent and tech-savvy kids (or the ones who took clerical classes) had typewriters… Handwriting was not only taught, but even in the upper grades neatness was part of the grade you received.
Today, the first resource is the internet. And all school reports (in my children’s schools anyway) are to be typed. It is an unusual child who doesn’t have at least one computer in the home in our area, and all the schools have computers in the libraries, if not the classrooms. Libraries, also, have computers. Not only for personal use, but for their entire catalog; no more neat little cards filed away in drawers, waiting to be discoverd like little treasures in chests…
Do I feel old? Today, yes. With an inkling of my grandmother’s astonishment when I was able to instantly look up a news article (online) a decade ago to answer a question she had.
So, what about love? I wouldn’t trade this realization of the passage of time for anything. The very thing that makes life meaningful to me is sharing experiences with people of all ages, introducing ideas and events to younger people even as I am welcomed into the life of more mature people by those who came before me. For me, it’s all about love…
My friend Robin at The Other Mother holds a blog carnival every year in honor of Freedom to Marry week. The topic for the blog carnival this year is “what about love?” I am proud to participate, and look forward to the day that civil rights are accorded equally to all.