Sunday, May 31, 2009

When I was your age, I had to walk five miles in the snow with no shoes...

On Friday, I went by the American Girl Place.

Now, I'm an adult. I guess I've been a legal adult for about nine years...but I haven't forgotten the things I loved when I was a kid (as I just reread Judy Blume's Just As Long As We're Together the other day and it really was just as good as it was years ago).

The American Girl Collection came onto the scene when I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade. I got a Molly doll and books for Christmas. Molly was my favorite, and probably part of the reason my lifelong obsession with the 1940's began.

None of the little girls in my life are old enough for American Girl stuff, so I really had no reason to go by there...but I did.

And I learned that there is a NEW American Girl, a modern one, named Chrissa.

I browsed through Chrissa's introductory book.

This book involves getting nasty text messages and emails. Chrissa, like all American Girls, is nine.

Okay, I remember being a kid and always making sure that I had quarters on me to make a phone call.

I remember occasionally, a classmate didn't have a quarter and had to make a COLLECT CALL (GASP!) I even remember my friend Lauren having to do so to let her mother know she had to stay late after school, so and bursting into tears.

I also remember, at nine-years-old...not really having much of a life.

What exactly DOES a nine-year-old do for fun?

I'd read books.

I was just starting to really write stories.

I'd go to school and see my friends.

I'd say goodbye to my friends.

And sometimes (just sometimes) friends and I would see each other after school.

If we needed to talk to each other (for whatever reasons!), we would have to call each other at home...and risk having to speak to a parent or sibling...and ask if we were home.

We didn't have cellphones.

We didn't have emails.

And we turned-out okay.

I have no idea why nine-year-olds need these things...I don't think ANY kid really needs a cellphone until, perhaps, they start driving. I didn't get a cellphone until I was about 20-years-old and in college, and only then because my mother FORCED me to get one.

If she hadn't done that, I probably would still be carrying around quarters and looking for payphones.

In fact, I carried around my first cellphone for about five years, until the masking tape that held it together was no longer doing its job and I had no choice. (That actually describes my relationship with my first car...I rode it until it fell apart...with me in it...that car was my father's, and the car I remembered us taking family trips in and my dad driving to work I had a pretty strong attachment to it...but, then again...I'm sure my dad would also want me to be safe!)

I always joke that I'm really an 80-year-old in a young body, and it is times like these when I feel it stronger than ever.

Don't rush growing-up, Chrissa...haven't you ever watched Little House on the Prairie? Road to Avonlea? The Baby-Sitters Club! They were modern and cool in their day and they got along fine without cellphones and texting and IMing.

Don't be in such a rush to grow-up...there's no turning back.....................

Diana Rissetto


Lisa said...

My 8 year old niece desperately wants a cell phone. She has tried to gain my sympathies many times, but on this, I have none. I tell her she doesnt need a cell phone! I understand that children with split homes have cell phones so the parents can always find the child... and I understand that children who play sports or activities that involve traveling have cell phones... but outside of that, they need to stop trying to grow up so fast!

DianaGolightly said...

THANK YOU! All of my church kid whip-out their phones to text during lulls in meetings (and once at mass! It was awful)and I think they're even too young! (5th-8th.)