Sunday, April 28, 2013

Brave New World

Modeling a handknit hoodie

My granddaughter just turned two-and-a-half this month. She stays overnight with me most Saturday nights, to give the 'rents a break. We have our routines (supper, games, Shaun the Sheep or Curious George, popcorn, etc.) One of our routines is reading in Grandma's bed, then falling asleep in Grandma's bed, then being transferred to the Pack n Play.

Some of the games we "play" are on my Nook. Some are puzzle games, one is a memory game, and another is a coloring app. Granddaughter particularly likes the latter.

Last Saturday, while lugging her from my bed to her bed, she woke up. I was too tired to deal with the ensuing pleas and tears, so I just put her back in my bed and we both went to sleep. The next morning, granddaughter hopped out of bed almost immediately upon waking. After a few minutes, I staggered after her. She was sitting on the couch, Nook in lap, "coloring". She had figured out how to turn it on, get past the screen saver, find her game, and start playing. It wasn't long before she was trying to get more games off the B&N site. It is a good thing she does not know my B&N password or my credit card would have some mysterious charges on it.

Watching Thomas the Train

I'm sure there were predictions of doom following the invention of the telephone, automobile, radio, television, etc. but these new technologies were all so useful and desirable. They transformed society in ways that are both bad and good (mostly good, I think - I'm a big fan of hot running water and electricity), but in no time at all, we found we could not do without them. Ditto the computer age - what did we do with all that free time we used to have before surfing the 'net and chatting online? We probably watched TV and talked on the phone. And before that, we foraged for food and tried to figure out how to start a fire rubbing two sticks together.

The world changes. Fortunately, our children and then our grandchildren take these changes in stride. It is just us old farts that resist the new (my 93-year-old dad is struggling with transitioning from XP to Windows7 on his laptop and won't text on his iPhone, but he did send me a message via Facebook the other day). That's not to say everything new is good, but that which is "new" becomes that which is "normal" in a very short time. And sometimes what is "new" used to be "old" - for example, it wasn't that long ago that we ate locally grown food because that was all that was available.

The other day my daughter and I were double-teaming the granddaughter, getting her changed from her fleece pj's (she calls them "feecies" which sounds a lot like "feces") to street clothes and brushing her hair. "It's like 'Downton Abbey'!" I exclaimed. "And we are the lady's maids." Part of that show's story line shows the changing times and warns of what can happen if one does not adapt. The trick is to figure out how best to make use of the new stuff without introducing ruinous consequences.

Some days I fall into the camp labeled "Hell in a Handbasket" but other days I'm optimistic. Significant change is coming, especially for that endangered species, the White Male. It may be a rough transition, but I think the young can lead us into a better future. At least I hope so, for their sake.

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