In praise of the next generation – and the newest generation

I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to watch many, many young people become responsible, engaging, and impressive adults.  I’ve experienced this with 2 sons, 21 nieces and nephews, children of our friends, and literally hundreds of my students over 30 years as a university professor.  I can say without reservation that our future is in good hands with the next generation.  They are making a difference in every facet of our economy.  Some have started their own companies, which blows my mind.  Others are IT professionals, teachers, civil servants, health care providers, lawyers, managers, editors, environmentalists, international development workers, fund raisers, or working in a wide range of service industries.  They are following their passions and exploring new ones.  They run, cycle, travel, participate in music, coach sports teams, learn new languages, get involved in their communities, and contribute to charities.

Through my Facebook “friends” I am able to follow the thoughts, experiences and milestones shared by members of this next generation, including, I’m pleased to say, many of my former students.  In the past year alone, several of this group have become parents for the first time, and a few for the second time.  Their postings are a joy to read.  When new parents post pictures and narrative about their newborns on Facebook, they allow all their followers to share the awe and unconditional love inherent in welcoming a brand new, completely formed, tiny, helpless being into our lives, one who is completely dependent on us for his or her survival.  Thank you for sharing.  This is the other aspect of life in which the next generation is excelling: parenthood.  Bravo to you all!

The story “A New Baby at Robby’s House” was inspired by the arrival of a new baby (our beautiful grandson) at my younger son’s house a few years ago.  It was interesting to watch the changing dynamics in the house when the first born was no longer the only child with needs in the house.  Robby Robin was excited at first when a new baby arrived on the scene, but he wasn’t quite as sure when his mother couldn’t attend to his every need on demand.  The new baby took a surprising amount of his mother’s time!

I hadn’t thought about learning to fly as a metaphor when I wrote about Robby helping his mother teach the little bird to fly, but that’s what we do when we raise our children.  It takes a lot longer than with birds – YEARS – but we are teaching our kids to fly, to be independent and able to take care of themselves.  My generation must have done something right, because from where I am sitting the next generation is soaring.  And now they are busily teaching the new generation to fly.  Don’t worry, folks,  you’re doing fine!!

You can check out all of A New Baby at Robby’s House on my blog page called Robby Stories.
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