Over at Chaperon Tacheté and The Little Wash House are descriptions of my great-grandson Severin’s fourth birthday. Oh to be four! It all sounds wonderful, marvellous, fantastic, and he was given everything his heart could desire and more. I admire and endorse the anti-materialistic views expressed over there by my daughter and granddaughter, by the way, and hope they are able to stick to their principles as Severin gets older.
Ever since he could indicate an interest in anything, Sevi has been fascinated by wheels; his first word was “Auto” followed rapidly by “Traktor” and then, for a long time, nothing – that was sufficient for his needs. As both his Daddy and his Great-Grandad are car fanatics, I suppose there could well be a genetic component in this. Anyway, the star present for Sevi’s fourth birthday was from his Godfather:
Even Severin was overwhelmed by this and approached it much as if he had been offered a Ferrari. What I am wondering is, if he gets a quad bike for his fourth birthday, does that mean he gets an additional wheel each year, culminating in an 18-wheeler truck when he comes of age? Oh Godfather, you may have bitten off more than you can chew here!
I’m not going down the road of, “When I was a child, we had to make do with plain brown wrapping paper and an empty cardboard box,” but I can’t help being apprehensive about the materialistic world of our young people. Among my wanderings in the blogosphere I recently came across a post I would love to acknowledge, but I can’t manage to retrace my steps; the writer was bedazzled at what 16-year-olds expect nowadays for their proms, and asked, “What on earth are they going to do to top that when they get married?” (or words to that effect).
The mother of the eleven–year-old boy next-door-but-one was telling me that now he has finished primary school, his class also had held a prom, which had pretty well stressed them all out. I was speechless, which is a very rare occurrence, and then had to swallow hard to avoid making a hurtful comment. I didn’t even ask what form this prom was taking, as I don’t think I could have continued to hold my tongue if I had been told it involved tuxedos and stretched limos.
Some parents are trying to fight this tendency, but the marketing and PR wizards have cast their spells over the younger generations, and expectations are rising daily. How do you buck the trend without actually penalising the kids? And how on earth can it be justified in the present economic climate? I think I’m turning into a Grumpy Old Woman.