My son is participating in his first school fundraiser for the American Heart Association which requires him to raise money and jump rope at an event at his school. Easy-peasy except for the fact that he doesn’t know how to jump rope. Which made me start to wonder, what have his father and I been doing for the last 6 years? I was jump roping, riding a bike without training wheels and staying out until nightfall by his age. Where are the old school sensibilities that I’m supposed to pass on to the next generation? What else have I failed to teach him?
“Kiddo, do you know how to play hop scotch?” I asked.
“Yes, I learned it from watching Max and Ruby on TV,” he replied.
“What about hand clapping games? Didn’t I try to teach you one once?” I wracked my brain to remember…something about ice cream soda, Delaware punch…what the hell is Delaware punch?
“Well, Molly and Maria taught me at school. Lemonade, crunchy ice, beat it once, beat it twice, kick your boyfriend, touch the ground, turn around and freeze!” He froze dramatically in place.
“What about Mother May I? Rover Red Rover? Smear the…uh…guy…uh, person?”
“I learned those in preschool. What’s Smear the Guy Person?”
“Nevermind. Have I ever told you to go outside and play and not come home until it gets dark?” I asked.
“No,” he laughed, “you make me come in to have my snack.”
I began to stress about all the other things we haven’t done that I had done by his age: Camping, 4-wheel driving, sailboating, watching rated R movies in the drive-in theater when everyone thought I’d fallen asleep (The Exorcist, Saturday Night Fever). And those were just the things I could remember.
“Mommy,” he asked as he looked up at me with his sweet chocolate eyes, “do you want to watch me play Minecraft?”
Minecraft: A new game designed to look blocky and pixelated, like a relic from the Atari era. I guess that’s old school enough for me.