In the company of twelve, ten and eight year old kids I cannot help but feel "old"--which may baffle some considering that I, myself, am only twenty years of age. Strange as it may seem though, this feeling has been a re-occurring theme since I moved in with my cousin Julie, her husband, Andrew, and their three kids here in Saratoga, CA. As kind of a repayment for letting me live here, I have promised to help with various domestic chores such as making dinner, cleaning dishes, laundry and helping take care of the kids. It is with the latter of these duties that I have stumbled upon this "senior" dilemma. Now obviously my paranoid perception of age is grossly exaggerated and it should go without saying that my new found "crisis" should be viewed more in a joking manner rather than a matter of seriousness. Therefore, take the following words with a grain of salt. That being said, I'm getting old.
I find it funny how, even though these kids are a few generations removed from my own, there are still many mannerism which we--and probably all people who were once kids--share. For instance, I can vividly remember being a kid and LOVING video games, almost to the point of addiction. To count the hours my friend Jonny and I spent playing Goldeneye or Zelda on Nintendo 64 would require a team of MIT scientists and some advanced form of computing software. Kids these days however would only reply with a blank stare if I tried to explain to them what N64 even was or how Zelda Ocarina of Times was the GREATEST game ever conceived by the human race. As a rebuttal, they would probably disagree with my statement and instead make the assertion some other crap game is better. They however, would be wrong. After all....kids are stupid.
Having not played video games on a regular basis for almost a decade now, my re-introduction to the world of gaming could not have been more of an epic fail. For starters, what is up with game controllers these days? Where are the wires? The toggle stick? Why are there sooo many buttons!? Why is it so fast? WHAT IS GOING ON!!! After only ten minutes of playing some crazy Wii dancing game it dawned on me the manner in which these kids are explaining how to play this thing is akin to me explaining to my grandmother how to use E-mail....except in this case, I'm playing the role of grandma. Like I said, I'm getting old.
Even the Saturday morning cartoons these kids watch differs greatly from those of my childhood. I remember waking up early to shows such as Rocko's Modern Life or Dragon Ball Z. Nowadays, these epic shows of the past however have been replaced by wannabe pre-teen dramas with phony laugh tracks with stars like Miley Cyrus. If anything, these shows are more like "Sex and the City" than Spongebob Squarepants and--in my humble opinion--are corrupting America's youth. Okay, okay...maybe that's a bit much--but seriously, they suck.
All these things aside though, my new found role as "nanny" has been pretty fun. Obviously, it's a learning process and I'm sure many mistakes will be made along the way, but it's the least I can do given that Julie and Andrew are putting me up for free. TO this point, it's been relatively easy since the kids are pretty adept at taking care of themselves. I have the feeling though that it's only a matter of time before it gets difficult and I'm called upon to answer the hard hitting questions such as; "who would win in a fight, a deer with laser beam antlers or a pack of wolves?" Whatever, as long as it's not the "Birds and the Bees" speech, I'm fine with it.