Eight days, two horrible sunburns, and approximately 53 mosquito bites later, it's official: I'm back in the Midwest. Instead of crepes and scones in the mornings, I get coffee and Special K. For dinner, I'm back to Lean Cuisines. Okay, that's not completely fair...my mom has made plenty of delicious home-cooked meals since we got back. But there's been no French fare involved, and, quite unfortunately, no wine of any sort.
In the week that I've been back, three kids at camp have had to go to the hospital. The entire rest of the summer, these kids have had no big issues...one bloody nose, one black eye, and a cut here or there. But requiring an ambulance three times since Monday is a bit ridiculous.
On Monday, one boy cut the bridge of his nose on a ramp at the swimming pool, creating a cut right between his eyes. Only required one stitch and the boy didn't even feel the injury happen; bled like crazy. That same afternoon, another boy got his fingers slammed in the bathroom door. This boy definitely felt it. Screams rang out from the hallway and he was half-carried down the hall, wailing and holding his bloody hand. A piece of the skin fell off of his finger, and the skin was completely removed from the bone in one area. He fractured the bone; got four sutures and a finger cast. The last boy got a basketball thrown at him in the gym today...this injury, while unintentional, was the result of an intentional throw done out of anger. He broke his finger, and no blood was shed. But for me, it was the worst to watch, because his thumb was bent backward and stuck in a position where typically the knuckle would be....
So, yeah, I'm ready to go back to school.
This job has had it's ups and downs, for certain. But, it's taught me that there are no vile children, no vicious children. There are simply vile, vicious intentions, molded into actions that are then performed by regular, halfway-decent kids. These little humans have really made me fall in love with them, each in their own way. Of course, they've also made me unsure of my once solid plan to have three children and have convinced me that I don't want any number of children for a long, long time.
Still, they've shown me so much that is good about them. Up-and-coming generations always get a bad wrap, and you'd think that by now we'd realize that's just the pattern. This time around, it's technology that's frying their brains. We're all like, hey, we were kinda bad as kids, but just look at this generation! They're going to be fat slugs dominated by robots within the next twenty years, guaranteed. And I'm not totally convinced this is untrue. It makes sense for each generation to seem worse to us...the world is constantly changing, and none of us is growing up in the world that our parents did.
In twenty years, judging by the way things are going now, the world may be much worse off than it has been. But we contributed to that. The current generations and all previous ones raise the next. These children will inherit the world their ancestors left them, just like my generation is doing now.
I don't want this to be a soapbox spiel. It's just something to think about when we start pointing fingers. We can shake our heads in shame when we read that a 10-year-old girl has sexted a naked photo of herself to some pre-pubescent boy, wondering why for the love of god did she even need a phone at that age. But look what we've been raised on! Sure, we didn't get phones until maybe 13 or 15, but our parents didn't even have cell phones back in the day. Every run-of-the-mill innovation, every machine that is now 'old hat' was once shiny and new.
And, on that same note, every kid of the past was as much a product of their surroundings and upbringing as they are today. The way people behave and the crazy things they do is a sign of the times. The world these kids will be inheriting isn't in the best shape it could be, but when has it ever been? We shake our heads, but maybe these kids will improve all that's wrong with the world, save the polar bears and end child pornography and all that jazz. Who knows? Only time will tell. For now, adults just have to stop complaining and do the best we can, for posterity's sake.