sunflowery's Diaryland Diary


It's So Easy When Your Kids Are Fictional

As I pulled the boiled hot dog from the pan, I was transported 30 years in the past to the first time I ever made my own hot dog.

I had to be about 7 or 8. We were living on Baker Street at that time. My memory isn't so very clear, but I think my family was outside. Maybe they were mowing or gardening or talking to the neighbors. While they were out of the house, I got out a pan, filled it with water, put in enough hot dogs for the 4 of us, and set it to boil. While the hot dogs cooked, I set the table complete with condiments, buns, chips, plates, and cups. I don't remember if I made a side dish or not, but I do remember my parents' reaction.

My mom was surprised and while she expressed pleasure at not having to cook our meal, I think I remember her also exhibiting a little concern over my use of the stove top and boiling water unsupervised. But I was so proud of myself and what I had accomplished.

I was thinking about this today and how it seems that many kids these days are not as self reliant or independent. It seems like parents do a lot more for their kids now days than when I was little. I'm sure every generation thinks that about the generation before and I'm sure it's often true. For instance, my father had to get up and do farm chores before school and then do more after school. I had no such responsibilities. However, my brother and I were given chores and responsibilities that HAD to be done before we could enjoy free time or an allowance. We had to clean out the dishwasher, fold and put away our laundry, set the table, iron clean clothes, vacuum, and dust, make our beds, and keep our rooms clean. When we got older, we were also responsible for mowing, cleaning the bathrooms, and other chores as assigned. We had daily and weekly chores that came before we could do anything fun. I don't think kids these days are expected to do as much around the house and therefore don't know how to do the things we were expected to do when we were their age. Of course, it's easy for me to say because I don't have kids. So what do I know?

Yesterday was good, but it flew by quickly. I got up, puttered around the apartment and then got ready to head out. I stopped by the library to pick up a couple new books on tape. Then I took off for Rochester. On the way, I stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up something for my uncle. I wanted to get a book or some magazines, but I had no idea what he liked. So I ended up getting a GQ and a Golf Digest along with a TV Guide crossword puzzles book. I also picked up a new purse for me for $5.00! Generally I don't like purses. I have always carried a backpack or briefcase or, when I was a nanny, a diaper bag. So I'm used to a huge bag of some kind. I don't always like the huge bag. At Wal-Mart, I found a mini backpack purse in a nice shade of baby blue - for $5.00! Can't beat that with a stick. Once reading material and the new purse were procured, I was back on the road.

I arrived in Rochester before the torrential downpours occurred, but thankfully, there was covered parking. I managed to find my uncle's ICU unit and hospital room without too much trouble. My parents were already there, of course. I was a little later than expected because of my stops at the library and Wal-Mart.

My uncle looked much better than I expected. He was sitting up in a chair when I arrived and was talking with my parents. He said he was feeling better, though he still wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything and had about a million tubes and lines going in and out of him.

After chatting for a bit, Mom, Dad, my aunt and I went to the cafeteria for lunch. It was nice, though hospital cafeterias charge for EVERYTHING! $.25 per pickle, $.15 per chocolate candy, etc. I had a nice salad and a cup of potato soup...though the soup was too celery tasting for me. Blech! Celery is yucky.

After lunch, we went back to my uncle's room. He was in bed by this time and fighting sleep so he could visit. We didn't stay long because my uncle was not feeling up to visitors at that time. So, I parted ways with my parents and headed back home.

I drove through a monsoon on the way back, but barely noticed due to my Janet Evanovich book on tape. She is one witty author.

I got home around dinner time. Bob was up but feeling achy still. We decided on a fix-you-own meal plan and had a good time visiting.

We talked about how so many of our friends and family seem to be going through tough times right now. My uncle in the hospital and his wife (who just had knee replacement surgery 12 weeks ago) and another of my uncles just lost his job, Bob's good friend is going through cancer treatment and he and his family have just been going through the wringer. They have had their electricity turned off, they are out of propane, he's not working because of the cancer, and they are just struggling. There are more people going through tough times and we are going what we can to help and support them, but we are only 2 people and can only do so much. Today, Bob is taking 4 bags of groceries to his friend with cancer. We raided our own fridge and cupboards and put together a bunch of easily cooked or heated up meals for them. We are also sending our camp stove over so they have a way to cook. We are also sending along some cash. We don't have much, but what we have is theirs.

What a random entry. I started out talking about how kids these days have it so easy and ended up with how hard so many of our loved ones have it. Maybe it's all related. If you teach your kids to be independent and a little self reliant, maybe they won't have such a difficult time during the dips and ruts in life. Who knows? We will learn as we go once our kids come along.

2:16 p.m. - Sunday, Jun. 05, 2005


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