Calling All Boomers!
by: Carol Weeks
We have all heard that the hope of our nation is our children and our youth. I’m here to tell you that that is only partially right.
I believe that we, the baby boomers, are also the hope of our nation. We have lived through some of the most challenging and entertaining times in our country’s history:
From the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
From the polio vaccine to cures for many types of cancer and better treatment for others.
From Elvis shown only from the waist up on the Ed Sullivan Show to the beautifully produced documentaries by Ken Burns on PBS.
From “The Cat in the Hat” to “The Purpose Driven Life.”
We have skills and at least partial answers that we can use to help our children and grandchildren understand how to go on from here, how to make a difference.
I believe we do that by example, our actions agreeing with our words.
And if we are part of the hope of our nation, we’d better get busy imparting some of our knowledge and life experiences to those who need to hear it.
I encourage you to intentionally tell your grandchildren about your life. Tell them where you’ve been, even if you’ve never been outside of Marshall County. There are plenty of stories about you and Marshall County that need to be told, and they need to be told by you.
Tell your grandchildren who you’ve been in the past, what you did for a living, what education or training you’ve had.
Teach them how to play a card game, like Hearts or Go Fish. Watch Bonanza together and relate how you had a crush on Little Joe.
One good way of starting a conversation with a grandchild is to look at photographs from your childhood. My 5-year-old granddaughter loves to look at the naked baby picture of her Gran!
It’s so important for your grandchildren to know you as a real person, one who has funny stories and serious stories, stories about their parents and stories about the history they are learning in school.
I remember talking to a babysitter in high school who kept the kids one summer, and I mentioned something about President Kennedy’s assassination. I said, “Well, you remember that.” And she said, “No, but I read about it in history.”
Wow! At that point, it had not occurred to me that anything that had happened in my lifetime, around 35 years of it, could be in a history book already. But Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 and I was talking to her in the late 80’s. 25 years to her was the definition of history.
You are living history. Spread it around and let us all benefit from it.