Monday, December 1, 2008

Do the youngs make us feel old?

Some say youth is wasted on the young. Not me. By middle age I was too tired for 1am feedings, the terrible two's and the truculent teens. I remember one too many days when sibling rivalry shook our house. The only thing that preserved my sanity was thinking that in twenty or thirty years my teenage boy and 3 girls would be having the same problems with their children.
If it weren't for the younger generation, think about how many rappers, junk food purveyors and manufacturers of oversized clothes for boys and undersized clothes for girls would go out of business. The younger generation keeps the economy going - or is it their allowance that does it?
Without the younger generation the Guinness Book of World Records would be a much thinner book. Who would stuff themselves into VolksWagen, swallow goldfish and practice the domino theory with thousands of real dominoes? Records are broken by the young, who, coincidentally, also buy the most records.
Colleges help transform the know-it-all stage to know enough to earn a living. Graduate schools help those who want to know more. They also help those who want to stay in the know and not graduate into the real world.

Then there are the children who move back in with their parents because they can't make ends meet. Having seen this happen to friends, maybe parents should help their children meet new ends - like the end of spending more than they earn or the end of working one job when they could work two.

Poor diet, lack of sleep, meager savings - the youth are the only ones who can survive being young. They can burn candles at both ends, but after forty we don't want to hear about candles. We're too busy waxing on about age being just a number. We're also busy complaining about failing memories, but it's the youth who need good memories. If they can't remember their mistakes, how can they learn from them?

No, if it were up to middle-agers to carry on the species, we'd be in trouble. If I knew then what I know now, would I want to try to recapture my youth? No, because what I know now was worth waiting for.

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