There are generations in more things than families. I’ve known this, of course, but the realization recently hit home in a new way. We have generations in appliances, computers, technology, cars—just about everything that *is*.

My granddaughter, Jamie (3rd generation Foley/Baier), her husband, Mike, and their two boys (4th generation) visited me recently. Beyond my recognizing how the human designer was very wise in assigning the child-bearing potential to the younger generation, I was thrilled to enjoy the loving and trusting behaviors of the little ones. Austin, 3, crawled into my bed at 7:00 a.m. the first morning. He snuggled next to me and settled his head on the pillow. Then, he whispered as he looked out my shade-less windows, “It’s not dawk out.”

Rather than discuss or argue that fact (I was NOT ready to get up!), I just softly rubbed his temples; again and again my hand swept gently back into his hair. And it worked. He fell soundly to sleep and still slept when I later got up to shower. So that set the pattern: each morning, he’d scramble up into my bed and cuddle up into my arms. How special is that?

The next day, a Sunday, we had the rest of my Rochester family gather so Jamie and Mike could see all of them. It was a great time—counting me, there were four generations present. That includes two of my sons, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Like I said, it was a *great* time!DSCN0399


I commented later to Mike (my grandson-in-law) that it was awesome to see three little boys quietly playing with their iPads on the living room sofa. (I don’t think I ever saw my three sons, when they were boys, sit quietlyDSCN0394 on a couch for several minutes, let alone an hour.) But these boys were each completely absorbed by the games they were playing on their pads.

That’s when Mike voiced his concern. He said, “We’re afraid that this next generation will totally lose the ability to program, or even work with, a computer. They, and even teens and young adults, are very adept at using their phones for everything—directions, research, taking photos, communication. Anything and everything.”

His Rx, he said, will be to teach his boys to program by designing games for them to play and inadvertently learn the business of computer programming. Of course, both Jamie and Mike have graduate degrees in Electronic Engineering, so that’s an easy fix for them and theirs.

But it’s interesting to consider that, even though I’ve lived through monumental changes in our society and its products, so will my heirs. And, years from now, they’ll shake their heads and say, “Boy. I remember when….” (Let’s hope the world is still moving and progressing then.)

Meanwhile, I still just love seeing my little guys come running to me with open arms, snuggling with me, “helping” me bake a cake, listening to my stories with wide, wide eyes, and following me on their balance bikes as we form a motorcade for the President. A phone call (on speaker phone) to *President* Paul confirmed for us all that our motorcade was indeed keeping him safe, for which he thanked us profusely.

I guess some things never change: the innocence of a child, their dedication to play, and the love that makes it possible.


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