The Past Is Fading Fast

This morning, I was reading a book with my kid. It's one of the Little Critter stories by Mercer Mayer, titled "When I get bigger".

I was struck by the sheer number of things that don't actually apply and will likely never apply to my kid. For instance . . .

  • a paper route (can't remember the last time I saw a kid delivering papers on his or her bike)
  • dialing a telephone
  • ordering from a paper catalogue, writing a letter to request your order, and having it come in the mail
  • wearing a watch (increasingly uncommon for kids)
  • roller skates (okay, there are roller blades)
  • a portable radio (we stream radio via the Internet to an amplifier dock)

All these things are in the story. You find yourself saying things like, "back in the old days, most people had newspapers delivered to their door" or "telephones used to have wheels that you turned to call somebody".

I realize that some people still have home delivery, but that's mostly a 'for now' thing and I doubt it can or will continue. In the case of watches, we still occasionally wear them, but it's often a fashion statement rather than as a useful object for telling the time.

The past is still with us, but it's fading, and it's strangely to explain to a little kid.

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