I grabbed the ball that my German shepherd, Wanda, dropped in front of me. It’s actually a horse toy and she loves to shake it back and forth with her skinny little head. I held it with two hands over my head and threw it as far as I could. She took off, jumping off the deck and running, ears back.
I wiped my hands off on my pants and sat down in one of our zero-gravity deck chairs. Sammy looked at me, disgusted.
“You would have washed your hands, huh?” I said to him, smiling.
(This all began before COVID, so I can’t blame the pandemic.)
Maybe it’s all the years camping or growing up and being outside. My friends and I would ride bikes, fish, and play kickball, all with no sinks for drinking or washing. We’d walk to the store after doing all that gross stuff and dig our hands into a bag of O’Grady’s chips or Reese’s Pieces, licking our fingers when we were done. My gross meter is high.
We didn’t have water bottles when we were young. I see these hazy memes online of kids wearing 70’s attire, drinking water from a hose, the fronts of their shirts wet. We really did that. We also got thirsty and were able to deal with it. We had dirty hands that we wiped up and down the front of our cut-off jeans.
Also, we weren’t accounted for sometimes for many, many hours. Nowadays, a quick text will reveal that your child is OK, or not. (I wouldn’t do well being a parent then. I worry too much.)
I’m proud of the generation I flew in on, but I can’t say for sure whether or not I am better off than my kids are. I so wish we could combine the two eras and take the best of each, but we can’t, so I will continue to be the one with dirty hands, and my boys will be the ones who can’t go ten minutes without a drink of water.
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