One of the great things about being an adult as long as I have is that no-one ever questions you anymore when you go to sit at the adult table. How I remember looking at that table and then back at the make-shift coffee table substitute where I was supposed to sit with all the little kids who had trouble finding their mouths to put the food in and then difficulty maneuvering that mouth to keep the food in. I cursed a lot. I did not know any curse words back then but sometimes the tone is enough to convey the emotion.
I was never a kid.
I was an adult trapped in a kid’s body.
But now that I am given free access to the adult table, I feel I must address the adults, mainly the other adults who have been here for a while.
I really do not want to sit here and complain about the way people look, or how “out of control” the younger generation is and how “someone” needs to set them straight. Of course that “someone” is not you. You talk big but seldom back up anything you say with action.
Unfortunately, I cannot claim my children were raised by wolves. I have no pics, photshopped or otherwise, to be able to substantiate that claim. My husband and I raised them, and you raised yours, and we all were participants in the world we birthed them into.
The world exists as a witness to everything we did and did not do in our life time.
It is great to point at politicians and countries on the other side of the world. Thank heavens for all those years of practice growing up where we immediately pointed at other kids when the adults showed up. “He made me do it!” “It was all her fault.” I suppose, at worst, it makes us look irresponsible . . . and at best, it makes us look uncaringly lazy.
How convenient, at this stage in our lives, to shake our heads and point at the young people. The world is not like it used to be . . . meaning the world that we inherited from our parents. We had a choice, to make that world better or worse. We made our choice by the way we lived, and that is the world we brought our kids into. We raised them to be the people they are today. We filled them with our beliefs, our ideals, our examples.
So if we are not happy with the way the world is, we need to look in the mirror.
If we are not happy with the way this next generation is handling things, we need to look in the mirror.
The problem is that we are here because we refused to accept responsibility and we refused to get involved. We can come and go singing the “it’s all them,” song, or we can wake up and start participating to make a difference.
So ya, at the grown up table, I would love it if we could start talking about solutions and opportunities and even ways to support and be there for this generation. I would love it if we did away with the kids table all together and pulled everyone up together so that we could all begin to reason, with common sense and compassion, how to get out of this mess.
If you can’t handle the way some people look, then close your eyes.
When I looked at the adult table, as a child, I saw the people who were in charge, the people who were taking care of everything, who had the answers, who were teaching and guiding us. I had expectations of who those adults were supposed to be. Now that I am sitting here, that is the person I want to be.
I think my kids deserve that from me … from all of us.