Grandkids are old before they’re grown

Remember when you were a kid growing up, 55 or 65 years ago? (A lifetime.)

To the editor:

Remember when you were a kid growing up, 55 or 65 years ago? (A lifetime.)

God, we were so full of piss and vinegar, were we not? Parents had a time to get us in after the street lights came on, made us sit at all meals and eat everything on the plate, vegetables included. We were in bed exhausted by 8:30 after running and jumping the whole day. With only one parent working there was always someone home to give you a hug and a cookie after school.

We all walked to school, home for lunch and walked back for the afternoon classes. I recall my public school was nine blocks away. This was before chip and pop machines were allowed into schools. No fast food joints to spend our lunch hour, we ate nutritious foods. Who of us had money anyway?

I loved school sports, playground activity and the odd supervised house party. We were always on the run, we were in great shape. In public school I recall just three fat kids and in high school there were only a half dozen or so.

Our parents were not poor nor were they middle class, we all found jobs to help out.

Families lived mostly in harmony. Most of us finished high school and found exciting jobs awaiting us—police, nursing, teaching, forestry, military, sales, retail, government, etc. All that was required was to finish Grade 10.

I joined the Royal Canadian Navy and saw the world, missing the conflict with Korea and Cyprus.

We married and raised our children wishing them a happy life as we had. As we aged our jobs became more secure, promotions bought better homes.

We taught our children to be street wise, keep your wits about you.

Before many of us hit 50 years of age had paid off the mortgage. Our children were grown and some had flown the coop. It wasn’t long before we became grandparents.

We were all mostly healthy in our generation and once hitting 65 our bodies started to get tired, some parts didn’t work too good, some of our minds got foggy. We started to pick up old age diseases, dementia, diabetes, blindness, heart problems and the dreaded “C”.

Soon you started to hear of friends passing on. We had become today’s seniors.

Saying all this about baby boomers being healthy and fit all our lives, eating proper foods, dieting, exercising and making a family, the national health budget for Canada is over 45 per cent?

Let us take today’s children, 13 years of age or more. Temptation galore! Fast food joints, various chip and pop machines in all schools. They all have money, cell phones and what else I’m not familiar with.

Not many students walk to school, they are driven or bused.

With both parents working there’s no pleasure coming home, no one to greet them to give them a hug.

You never see children playing on the streets or school yards, drive by any residential area on the weekend and you will be lucky to see any out playing.

Where are the little darlings?

We hear and read concerns on the rise of diabetes, alcoholism, AIDS, depression, suicides, heart and drug problems, for the under-19 year olds—problems old age people have.

Drive by any high school and you will see them standing near the grounds smoking, a few you will no doubt notice are obese.

We all know this is the way it is but hate to admit it, could this be our grandchild? No, it has to be someone else’s.

The big question I want to ask and think about is: What will be the national health budget in 25 years? We seniors of today will all be long gone, leaving our children as grandparents and seniors. It should boggle your mind!

Wayne Harris,

Kelowna