Parenting has changed. It goes beyond doing home repairs on your children's shoes.
I used to glue a layer of black rubber to the base of the family's new shoes and then tack on toe and heel plates to extend the wear. I did that to extend the life of all of the family's shoes and also did all any shoe repairs that were required.
I wonder if many grown-up children today remember that mum may have needed to be the dressmaker, clothing and shoe repairer, as well as chief cook, cleaner and gardener, and many held down hard working night duty jobs, so I could be home daytimes for their young ones or elderly parents they may also have cared for.
Before we criticise a former generation for not being as perfect as we think we are today. I need to balance my mum's apparent failure to come close to what I would have liked her to be, with a realisation that she did the best she was able to do, given the circumstances so was in. We have to realise that each generation lives in a different situation, and no two generations will treat shoe leather, or children the same. Heck, many, including me, didn't have shoe leather, and there weren't any cheap synthetic shoes during our school days. My children couldn't imagine borrowing a pair of shoes two sizes too big to wear if you had to go out somewhere special. :-) I've vivid memories of doing that in my teenage years. That need to go without or borrow what's taken for granted by today's generation, contribute to why my generation has a hard time throwing out things that we aren't using. I'm trying to be taught by today's youth, to declutter, to modernise with the times.
I'm reminded by someone I love that I was 'precious' about how our family washing machine was cared for. I apparently requested that my children read the manufacturer's rules, and not just bung clothes in and turn the on button on. From my perspective, I can understand that beller than they would. An automatic washing machine, back when I bought my first one, in my thirties, cost me the equivalent of several months of working sixty-hour night duty nursing shifts, it was a luxury item, the first time in my life I'd not been lifting wet clothes from the wash tub to but through the dangerous electric wringer, which mangled many a clothes washer's hands, but was an improvement on the backbreaking, manual labour, hand-turned wet clothes wringer.
That automatic washing machine had taken a long time to save for, it would have been treated as a combined wedding anniversary, birthday and Christmas present, and it wasn't something to take for granted. So, I was overbearing with my children as regards to caring for it properly. How can I expect they'd understand when the average wage today could cover the cost of three basic, intro-level, automatic washing machines a week?
People can afford to be more casual with possessions today—they aren't the luxury items they were in their mother's day, or in my mother's day. Other things, such as secluded places within natural and unpolluted environments close to cities, and fishing locations where the fish actually bite, and our precious coral reef are becoming rarer. I'd happily give up shoes again if that would save the remainder of the pristine natural environment for my grandchildren's future.
Despite all these variations, and how much non-exhausted time a parent has available to spend with a child, most parents love their children more than they could possibly know, or remember. The deep love of parents for their children is one experience all generation's share.
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