Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Tangent

A friend of mine posted a picture from high school on Facebook that I stumbled across recently. She was holding a "cell phone" in the picture and it was a gigantic cream colored rectangle that covered the whole side of her head and had a long extended antennae that went out of the frame. At first I giggled because it looked like a joke...and then I realized that it wasn't. It gave me pause. Life doesn't seem that much different now (shoulder pads and high top Reeboks excluded) until you take a minute and think on it. When I was a senior in high school, a very few people had "car phones" that were mounted and plugged into the car. They hardly ever worked and they were for emergency use only, as they were astronomically expensive to call on. And those were just the super rich kids. :-) Our big thing was a "pager". Once you were paged, you had to get to a phone to return the calls. That seems like a very foggy memory to me, but it happened none the less. Our parents had absolutely no way of knowing where we really were. All of those keg parties out in a pasture with half the school in attendance...yep, we were spending the night with our friends. ;-) If you told friends where you were going, you had to actually show up as planned because there was no way to reach them once they left their house, except for the errant page. I remember the endless slumber parties at my house full of "prank calling" every cute boy in the directory...nobody had caller id at the time. I can vividly recall being at my friend Robbie's house in the 10th grade and him showing me the "Internet" for the very first time in real life. It was so strange and foreign that I actually remember the moment. I thought it was amazing. I remember spending literally hours at the computer lab in college so that I could play with email and look things up online. There was no wireless and nobody had dial-up at our apartments or dorms. We had to go online at school. I am only 33 years old, yet things have changed so much already. I made fun of my parents almost every day of my childhood for their stories about how life was in "their day" and how things were so much different. I suppose that is inevitable of each generation. I am sure that Colin will have things in his life that I can't even imagine right now. That picture of the giant phone brought all these thoughts to the forefront of my mind.

The use of social media, like Facebook, has been the latest change to my everyday life. I am now in touch with hundreds of people, and the number grows daily, that I would not have a clue about right now otherwise. I love that I can post pictures and funny stories about Colin and my entire family spread across the country has immediate access to it all. I love the constant access to friends and family and how I can wonder where to get a good birthday cake in one minute and have 20 answers from local friends in the next. I love that I can see pictures of the children of childhood friends and that I know who married who without having to go to a reunion. :-) It is just good fun for me, but I am an adult and never knew media like this as a child. It makes me wonder how much harder the teenage years will be for Colin than they were for me. The 6th and 7th grade were the absolute worst days of my life...and I was bullied around simply because I was very small for my age. The constant torment of my peers at that time was seemingly impossible to bear. I consider myself lucky because I managed to shake it off and enjoy high school as a popular and well-liked girl. Lots of kids are not so lucky and are tormented throughout their teenage years. When I think about those hard years, it makes me wonder how very much worse it all would have been if there had been a "Facebook" at the time. My husband was recently "friended" by a very young cousin and we were blown away by the peek into her world. There was a big feud going on and the things being written back and forth on their "walls" were literally mind blowing. To see such horrible comments written down for the world to see took my breath away...these are 12 year olds! I have seen the news and know all about this trend, but seeing it in person and happening to someone in real time really shook me up. I have several years before Colin is into this stage, but I can say without a doubt that I will be very much in his business and will be completely in charge of his use of every bit of new technology on the market. Even if I have to take classes to understand all of it! :-) All I could think as I read through that Facebook wall of trash was "WHERE IN THE HELL ARE YOUR PARENTS?!". It is going to take a lot of work to protect our children in this new and improved world. A lot!

Okay, I am stepping down off my very random soap box. I am telling you...seeing that "Zach phone" in the picture of my friends really pushed me over the edge! (obscure Saved By the Bell reference included!) ;-)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dogs, Dimples and Aquariums

I call this series "Colin is the Cutest Boy of All Time: A Study in Dimples". ;-) Colin decided one day last week that he needed to have his picture taken with Enzo. I got the camera out and proceeded to take these adorable shots. They were all so sweet that I had no choice but to post every last one of them. I love that boy...and that silly dog!

That same day, we spent the afternoon at the Dallas World Aquarium with several of our good friends. We had a wonderful time and I was super happy that Colin enjoyed himself. The last time we went was on a holiday weekend, which meant major crowds and not much fun. This time was perfect...not too many people there and plenty of room to roam around with all the kids. At one point, there was a man letting kids feed the toucans and Colin begged to do it. He took the little piece of food and held out his hand exactly the way he was shown and the toucan nibbled it right up. Colin loved chasing his friends and grabbed Kim at one point to show her the crocodiles. I think they were his favorite part of all. The funniest part was the "penguin issue". Colin was very excited for the penguin exhibit and asked to see them immediately when we arrived. The penguins are the very last thing you see, as their habitat is on the way out the exit. He was begging me the entire time to hurry up so that we could see them. The aquarium and shark tank is toward the end and by that point, Colin was so bent out of shape over seeing the penguins that he could take it no longer. We broke from our group and headed out the door to see them. I showed Colin the door and breathed a sigh of relief that we were finally where Colin wanted to be. Colin, however, took one step outside and got the most horrified look you have ever seen on his face. "Mommy, penguins STINK!!!!!!!" he screamed...while sticking fingers up each nostril and giving me a look that could have set fire to something. I explained all about the fish smell and told him that even though they are stinky, they are still so cute. Colin was having none of it...he marched right back inside, despite these adorable penguins being right there in the open air for him to see, and started announcing to people that they shouldn't go out there because of the smell. I just had to laugh at that point. ;-) Colin was none to pleased with me, as if it were my fault that they stank, so we headed out through the gift shop. Jer had asked Colin to purchase him a pen before we came home, (basically a bit of a plea bargain to get Colin inside in case of an anxiety meltdown) so he picked out a very nice glittery one and we headed home. It was a great afternoon, although the penguins have moved to the bottom of Colin's bucket list. :-)

The moment he stepped out the door and realized that pengiuns stink. I am glad I had the camera ready to go. He bolted right after this shot. LOL!!
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