When I was a child there was no such thing as “family time.”
That’s because all the time was family time. The rest of the time was for school, visits with friends or extended family time.
Family was who you spent all your free time with. Family was who was there when nobody else was. Family time was all the time in a natural fashion that never really made me think about it until now.
Do you remember anything like this? You played with siblings, did chores for parents, did your homework at the kitchen table and most of the time couldn’t be found because you were outside… playing with friends and family.
Now we see commercials promoting “outdoor play” while playgrounds and parks stand mostly idle save for young mums with tots in tow who likely, once independently mobile, will likely discover the joy of computers, television or video games to leave the playgrounds a distant memory as many do.
Now we see advertisements for “family time” and “family dinners” as though they are the anomaly because … they… are.
They must be or we wouldn’t see these ads, would we?
When I was a child if we went to a restaurant and sat there engrossed in even so much as a book, we were told to close the book until we were alone to read. Recently I saw a family, an entire family, all the children and all the adults sit down in a restaurant next to us where they all pulled out their respective gadgets and save for placing their food orders which they never even thanked the server for, stayed fastened to their gadgets uttering nary another word.
When I was a child if we went to visit people, we did not sit there engrossed in a book or a gadget or watching TV. If we did, we ran the risk of getting a verbal clout upside the head for our rude behavior.
When I was a child and family or friends visited us, it was an honor. You shared your food, your time and yourself freely, wistful already when they left for the next time they would visit. Had we any gadgets to be preoccupied with, I’m sure the visitors would not have graced us with their company again. Not to mention the telling off we would have gotten from our parents.
When I was a child we never saw a proliferation of commercials for “activity” or “losing weight.” Come to think of it, we never saw food ads in proliferation either… Kraft foods is all I can really remember. Then again, we never saw a lot of television – we didn’t get the channel reception anyway or we were already outside playing – and that explains why what I did see is so vivid in my mind.
When I was a child we weren’t allowed to be publicly rude or dismissive of any person any time. We had to be kind first and if the person didn’t deserve our kindness, then we stepped back.
When I was a child the internet did not exist.
When I was a child, “family time” was not an advertisement.
(c) Aurora Morealist
(photo credit: Wikipedia)