Musings..that's all

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Musings..that's all

Postby basso on November 1st, 2005, 8:43 pm

In the town that I live in there is a curfew on Halloween night; which is 8:00pm. At 9:00, after a thorough inspection of my daughter’s candy, which included some tasting, I went out for my nightly amble around the hood. What I was most impressed by was just how quiet it was. I walked about 2 kilometres and I didn’t see another soul out on the road. I was positive, that in-spite of the curfew, I would meet up with roving bands of teens, smashing pumpkins on the road and wreaking other such mischief; but there were none. This made my walk very pleasant but it made me think about the cloistered nature of our children’s world. It seems to me that in our effort, as a society, to protect our kids and ourselves that we have created a playpen of rules. There are some that escape this playpen but they are inevitably caught and reprogrammed for the good of us all. I’m not talking about criminals, but just normal kids. I’m just wondering why there wasn’t a single smashed pumpkin on the road, that’s all. When we buy and carve these gourds they are destined for the compost in any event, so why not have them spread across the road with spirited laughter. I wondered if we were so intent on protecting our children that we have exchanged broken arms in favour of carpal tunnel. I thought; have we exchanged fun and games in favour of obsession and lethargy. I remember a wonderful post from schuey where she muse about things similarly, and ended with “it makes you want to run through the house with scissors in your hands;” I still laugh when I think of that image.

I have noticed that there is seriousness to children. Often when I hear teens laughing I think it is forced, as if they are willing themselves to have a good time. Their emotions seem to explode, not in euphoria but rather like a rocket, in one direction only. Why is this important? Well, I believe, that kids have, in large part, forgotten how to be kids. They are so cloistered from real experience that they are incapable of handling situations that are in need of only a modicum of humanity. When I was in school, some years ago, I was, from time to time, involved in a scuffle. It usually involved some kind of inept wrestling, followed by a punch or two. There was never any fear of a knife being pulled or a gun to solve the problem, and the next day the two of us, in all likelihood would be friends again. All of us had knives, I was after all brought up in Northern Canada, and it never occurred to us to throw it at anything other than a tree stump. The worst black eye I ever got was from a girl. What? She was older than me. I wonder, have we so inundated our children with technology and scheduling that they have lost some of the nuance that shapes a healthy life? Have we forgotten to give them the latitude to experience high jinks from time to time? I’m not making any conclusions, just musing.

I heard on the radio that, just a few days ago, they were holding some kind of commemoration to mark the death of the 2,000th American soldier in Iraq. How ironic I thought, that just a few short years ago, these men/women were running around their own neighbourhoods doing their own trick or treating. They were someone’s children who had been fussed over and protected from all manner of unreal fears, and yet now they lie quite dead because of the imagined fears of others, on both sides of the conflict. I felt sad at this thought… I still do. Again, I am not making a statement or reaching a conclusion, just sharing some feelings.

BFS seems a paltry thing when seen in this light, and yet, that it does impact us significantly is undeniable. I guess the difficulty is in finding the equilibrium. How much fuss should we attach to our physical sx and how much attention should we extend to the world at large. I must admit that I give scant attention to the news anymore. It is so full of innocuous bu-llcrap or negativity. I have reached the age where it seems the same stories are being told over and over again, just by, to me, younger faces. (I guess it was inevitable that I would go from stud muffin to stuffed like a muffin.) I think that if through our troubles with BFS we can increase our humanity, even a bit, then it has been worth the affliction. Some days I don’t notice any sx at all, and for the most part my BFS has died down to a dull roar (The wax and wane thing). However, one thing that has not waned is how much I think about my life and the lives of others. Has BFS not made us feel more plugged-in to our lives, rather than less so? Has it not made most of us cogitate constantly and, perhaps, deeply on all manner of things? Sometimes that brings us closer to those raw feelings, the sorrow, the pain, the angst of our own troubles; the startling revelation of our mortality. Yet doesn’t that make us feel more engaged in our lives? Are we not less the silent spectator and more the active participant now in our own destinies?

And so life goes from Halloween… to war…to BFS… to being afraid…to feeling love…..to

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Postby smnbfstoo on November 1st, 2005, 9:48 pm

It's interesting that you posted this. My 15 year old went to a Halloween party yesterday afternoon and it lasted until 9. I went to pick her up and there they were, about 10 kids lying in the middle of her friend's lawn, in the dark, just staring up in the sky. I parked, got out of my car, and asked what they were doing. They said they were, earlier, running around having a good old time with silly string and stuff like that and then they happened to notice the beautiful night and all the stars and just decided to all lay down in the grass and look up at the stars and try to see if they could make things out of them and look for the big dipper and stuff like that. I stood there and just smiled. Here was a group of 15 and 16 year olds taking in the simplest things in life and having a joy in doing so....no computers, video games or ipods in sight. :)
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Postby wjjw on November 1st, 2005, 9:52 pm

I have noticed that there is seriousness to children. Often when I hear teens laughing I think it is forced, as if they are willing themselves to have a good time. Their emotions seem to explode, not in euphoria but rather like a rocket, in one direction only. Why is this important? Well, I believe, that kids have, in large part, forgotten how to be kids.


I think it’s one of our most important jobs to do something about this. I think about this often, as I see parents dragging young kids from one organized sport to another, focusing on competition and “winning,” forgetting to have fun, and forgetting to teach them about things that really are important.

They were someone’s children who had been fussed over and protected from all manner of unreal fears, and yet now they lie quite dead because of the imagined fears of others, on both sides of the conflict. I felt sad at this thought… I still do.


Me too.

I must admit that I give scant attention to the news anymore. It is so full of innocuous bu-llcrap or negativity.

Me neither.

I think that if through our troubles with BFS we can increase our humanity, even a bit, then it has been worth the affliction.

Yes, and if it does, it’s a blessing, more than an affliction.

Thanks for musing…

Cheers,
-Bill
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Postby Ginlyn on November 2nd, 2005, 12:41 am

Basso,

As usual, your eloquence is a breath of fresh air.

I can say, truly, that having BFS has really taught me to enjoy each day and to count my blessings, of which I have been bestowed many!

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Postby Christina on November 2nd, 2005, 9:03 am

Basso,

You as always hit the nail right on the heard. Ipods, computers, cell phones, video games, 5 or 6 television channels devoted "just" to teens with nothing but unrealistic looking teens doing things that should be unrealistic for teens.....a million planned activities and counting (run on sentence). We have created a world where the best future professions will most likely be therapists and drug manufacturers (for new antidepressants) , as that is I am afraid to say in the future of many.

I grew up in a different family...I was surrounded by very artistic and colorful characters in a world of excess. My parents decided to keep my brother and I as grounded as they could. We were taught values and the importance of family. My Dad used to take time to just have fun...he always felt that fun was the best thing to have. Just as they were fighting an up hill battle, so are we.

I too think it is sad that the kids of today cannot have the mischief that we had in our world, their world right now is somewhat spinning out of control. Nothing seems to be simple. Sinister things are everywhere. OR, at least that is what the media repeatedly tells us every night at 6 and 11. And 24 hours on CNN and the likes. You can't even go to the parish priest at your church?

Perhaps a problem for today's kids is that they need instant gratification for everything. They break something and feel , oh well I will replace it tomorrow. Want to watch a movie...right now, lets go to the video store and buy it. It may be a simple theory here....but I remember as a kid getting very excited to see "The Wizard of OZ". After all , it was only on television once a year and it was special and so worth the wait. Waiting can make things so sweet. Remember waiting for that boy to garner up enough courage to give you that first kiss, now it make me scared to know what they are doing instead (and certainly not waiting very long to do) Waiting can be such an important lesson. In this world when do you get what you want at the instant that you want it? Only now as "our" kids. I am afraid that this generation will not be able to cope with the littlest dissapointments. I am afraid that the entertainment industry in an attempt to make obscene amounts of money have pimped our kids out and pandered to them so much that we will never be able to go back. Are we now doomed to live in a sociey that caters to 15 year olds..and puts them in a world where they don't need to be?

Basso, what you wrote was so sweet, and true. I am sorry that I went off on this tangent, lol. It is just that I try so hard with my own kids to raise them with morals in this immoral world. I want them to experience the joy of a childhood. To have some important roots for grounding. Your letter hit a nerve in me this morning. Ah, am I doomed to screwing mine up too? Whatever...I am sure it is only a matter of time till they are on the couch and telling someone that it was all my fault.

Sorry to ramble, and sorry for all the typos....

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