Ah, when kids were like house plants

Some people pine for the “good old days” when life was simpler. Living in modern times is anything but simple.

Young people today have it harder than anyone in history. The pressure! If a guy asks a girl to marry him, it has to be a two-camera shoot and a viral video, or it doesn’t count!

I can remember when the guy would just stick the ring in your food and hope you didn’t choke.

Now there are engagement parties. You secretly gather 50 of your closest friends and family members in a restaurant. The proposal commences and everyone celebrates when she says “YES!” But what if she says “no?”

It has always been a big deal when a child turns one-year-old. It’s not like they did anything of note except eat, sleep and fill diapers, but it’s still a nice thing to celebrate.

It used to be that you would slice off a small piece of cake, put it on the high chair, the child would smear it around and hilarity would ensue. You took pictures, then waited two weeks to see if they turned out or if it was just 24 pictures of your thumb.

My mom was notoriously bad at taking pictures. Every picture of me looked like a cross between Ichabod Crane and the headless horseman.

Now the child gets its own cake. It’s called a “Smash Cake.” An entire cake for the sole purpose of destruction.

And, of course, 2,368 pictures for social media. All free with no waiting! And, you can delete the ones of your thumb.

A lot of parties these days seem a bit over the top. I understand that graduation is a reason to celebrate, but do they really have to have giant circus tents with crepe stations and an open bar? M&M’s with the grad’s picture on them?

And that’s for graduation from kindergarten!

I can still remember what my parents gave me to commemorate high school graduation — luggage. The implication was clear, “Your job here is finished, now move along!”

I’m not saying that the old days are better than the modern times, but I do have to note that my parents never gave me three counts to stop doing what I was doing. That is adorable!

“Now, Jason, I’m going to give you THREE COUNTS to get out of that tiger’s cage. ONE … TWO … Jason, he’s chewing on your face, honey, get out of there! … TWO-AND-A-HALF…”

In some ways, raising kids in the old days was like owning house plants; you fed them, watered them and stuck them in the sun. And, we were free to live our lives until the street lights came on, unlike constantly checking in with your parents via your cell phone, aka electronic umbilical cord.

I’m grateful for my upbringing and realize that there are challenges with each generation. But would it have killed my parents to put my picture on some M&M’s?

Of course, that would involve them finding a picture of my head.

Columnist Kay Frances, MBA, holds a BS in Education and she is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP).

Salt Magazine