curses and milennial gaps

I had every reason to think my children’s adulthood would be, if not easier, more predictable than their childhood, or that I would feel more relaxed about it all, bearing less responsibility for their choices.

Maybe, selfishly, I also harbored expectations that they’d begin the kinds of lives that would lead them into understanding more what I’d gone through in raising them, by experiencing it themselves. That’s a common curse from parents you know: “One day I hope you have a child who talks to you the way you’re talking to me right now!” 🙂

Instead, they are doing everything differently, so far not interested in traditional family lives, carving out non-conventional paths. I support this, and worry, but realize that few of the aforementioned curses ever came to pass for me. What I was told to watch out for when they turned 2, didn’t happen at 2. Sometimes it didn’t happen at all. Then, what I expected when they hit ‘the teens’ is not what I faced. Some of my preparing for disaster actually got in the way.

If I understand my mother better, that’s from imagining myself into her shoes as I grew capacity to do so, through all kinds of life experiences.

It would be nice to see such happen on a wider scale, instead of seeing the wisdom of the younger dismissed so much or taunted by the older lately. I’m so thankful for the new energy flowing into the US Congress, for instance! Why would anyone want to miss the hopeful potential showing up in the midst of such a cynical and regressive time?

🙂 I hadn’t planned to write another post this soon, but a riveting morning discussion with my daughter took over the clock, freezing us in one spot until it finished naturally. Sitting on kitchen counters, we talked about spirituality and religion, especially visualization, and differences between devotion and reification. Then we moved on to politics and gender pronouns, before social media, but especially Tumblr.

Tumblr is a decidedly young medium, and for someone wordy (me), overwhelming. Mainly, I can feel blocked out of the patterns and tempted to judge a lot of what is happening (seemingly rootless gif and meme swapping) as mindless. It is that feeling of being in the room but not the conversation, which is a telltale sign of generation gap!

It wasn’t the case for my family, but during some period of time many children could speak English, while the grandparents or even parents, could not. The grandparents here in Miami fretted that the younger generation was not retaining Spanish at all (in my area, an unfounded fear). This situation was captured well by a PBS sitcom during the late 70s, called ¿Qué Pasa, USA?.

In my ex’s family, the gaps occurred with parents and grandparents speaking in French when they didn’t want the kids to understand what they were saying, and children turning those tables by speaking in Spanish in the same room. English was home base. Seen in this light, social media platforms also, create distinct islands and languages, and yes gaps, but those gaps don’t have to be unfriendly.

So, long intro, but here’s a gem of a fascinating article she shared during that conversation:

This generation is fueled by a similar desire to that of the Dadaists: to address the disillusionment of our generation in relation to all of the current events we are witnessing, particularly within the United States. As Americans, we were promised to be whoever we wanted to be, and we were given high unemployment rates and no guarantee of a job after college. We were promised peace and prosperity, and we were handed terrorism and a severe economic recession. 

Is it truly a surprise, then, that millennials would follow in the footsteps of their precedents and craft a movement centered around absurdism and, essentially, deliberate confusion and nonsense?

– Megan Hoins,
“Neo-Dadaism”: Absurdist Humor and the Millennial Generation


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