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, fashion consultants, 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 and play in sports teams, learn new languages, get involved in their communities, contribute to charities, and, without even thinking about it, help make the world a better place.
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 some for the second time, including a new baby boy proudly announced on Facebook this week! 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!
Some years ago I wrote a story called “A New Baby at Robby’s House”, which was inspired by the arrival of a new baby in our family (our amazing first grandson, who’s now turning 10). It was interesting to watch the changing dynamics in their house when the first born was no longer the only child with needs in the house. Robby Robin was excited at first when his new baby sister arrived on the scene, but he wasn’t quite so excited when his mother could no longer 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 it does for bird parents – YEARS – but, just like the birds, we are teaching our kids to fly, to be independent and able to take care of themselves. My generation must have done something right (although one has to wonder given the state of the world at the moment), because from where I am sitting the next generation is soaring. And now they are busily teaching the new generation to fly. Take a bow, folks, you’re doing fine!!
If any of you are looking for new stories to read to your small children – or your small grandchildren, you can check out “A New Baby at Robby’s House” and other Robby Robin stories on my blog under Robby Stories. If you want a paper copy, just let me know and I’ll send you a printable file.